Lights Out

2:36 AM

I could not wait to get in bed. I was already convinced I needed my pajamas, down comforter, and shut-eye before the 6 AM alarm sounded the next morning. As I pulled into the driveway at home, I was eager to settle down for the night.

To my surprise, there was darkness. Normally, Ian leaves on the outside light so that Kaden and I will not stumble while walking up the stairs on the deck, or fumble with the keys to unlock the door. Even with lights, we manage to still be unsuccessful at both tasks. That night we did not have a chance to do either. We were welcomed by complete silence (except the annoyance of a few crickets passing in the night) as Ian emerged from the house and onto the deck.

Kaden, being the inquisitive child he is, blurts out, "Are the lights out or something?" I wanted to ask the same question, but I did
not want to hear the answer. I had already figured it out on my own. The electricity was cut-off.

I hurried out of the car to confirm our fate. As I entered the house, I was greeted by a subtle chill and several silhouettes of what was known to be our furniture and other valuables. In my mind I believed it was the circuit breaker. In my heart I knew it was far from being that simple.

I headed to the cabinet where I keep all my candles. As I stood in the kitchen attempting to light several candles, I peered out of the window, only to notice the rest of the neighborhood was filled with light. Lucky them!

Then came the tears. I was immediately saddened. Not only was I upset over the entire situation, I was running on low energy. I had laid-out this wonderful plan to go to bed early, but now I knew the night was far from over. I cried uncontrollably, throwing silent tantrums and thrusting angered fists into the pillows on the couch.

All the while I forgot Kaden was looking-on. I had let my feelings override my ability to use good judgment, especially in front of a child. It was my responsibility to make Kaden feel protected and safe, yet I was falling apart completely. It didn't help that candles were housed in each room as an unconventional guide for our movements. All we needed was a Ouija board to make the scene complete. I would have given anything to bring back the spirit of humanity at that moment. Who in their right mind would disconnect the electricity in such cold conditions? I guess it's all about business.

After scrambling, tripping, and taking intermissions to cry, take deep breaths, and hold Kaden, I laid-out a plan. I would go to my parent's house and handle things in the morning. There were not a lot of options. The house was dark and cold. No way would I attempt to wait-it-out. Ian, on the other hand, decided he would stay. I call it pride. He calls it something else I'm sure. There is no way I could have slept in those conditions, or at least allow our child to.

We headed to my parent's house where we were greeted by a warm bed. For the first time in a long while, Kaden feel asleep before 9:30 PM and without incident. I believe he was tired, but also emotionally drained. Because of this, I felt extremely guilty that I had escalated a simple situation, such as paying your bill on-time, create an unwanted memory. Let's just say I'm glad that it is just that...a memory.

After two, looooong days of sorting out finances, talking to the electric company, and tugging along luggage from house to house, the lights are back on. The funny thing about this entire situation is just how much I discovered about myself and life.

I learned that darkness is not necessarily a bad thing. It forces us to believe in what we already know, and utilize what we already have. Without the light, we are forced to rely on our thoughts. And even when we strain our eyes to focus on what we think we see, there is always a slight chance that our perceptions will be incorrect.

A few nights ago, I thought I saw a failed attempt at making ends meet. I believed that we neglected our child because he was without something for a few days. However, when the lights came back on, I noticed that all that surrounded us was things, material possessions, stuff. They held no value in comparison to the support we enlisted from our family to help get us over this rough patch in the road.

I saw more in the dark than I'll ever appreciate in the light. I'll switch back and forth everyday, if it means I'll discover something new. I respect the darkness now...but it's great to see the light again!

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