In the meantime, I was asleep in my bed while Kate had her early morning shift. Around 3am, E climbed in bed with me which meant I got to hug the edge of the bed until morning, while the rest of our queen sized bed sat empty. I sleep like a rock anyway, so at least it's not the end of the world. When the sun rose, so did we. And then we found there was no power. No lights. No clocks. No central air. No refrigerator. No coffee maker.
Thankfully, I've raised Godzilla right, as his immediate reaction when finding out about the power was to freak about how I was going to get coffee in me. Also thankfully, I have a French press and no problem using it. So, we got a pot down and filled it with water, then used a lighter to light the burner on the stove so I could have hot water for my brew. A few minutes later, after much "help" from the boys, I had a perfect cup to drink while figuring out what to do with my day.
After a little breakfast made with quick openings of the fridge door and "toasting" a bagel in a pan on the stove, we ventured outside to see if we had any limbs down. While we had a few small ones, our yard made it through the night mostly unscathed. However, the neighbor two doors down (who just had their driveway repaved) had a large branch on their roof, their gutter showing sight of damage. The three of us made our way down the street to knock on their door to offer assistance with cleanup, but found no one answering our call. (I'm sure they'll want their insurance adjuster to see it, but I'll check back in later today)
Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice, I grabbed my clippers and a pair of garden gloves and set the boys to gathering branches. We drug them all to the curb so I could start clipping them down to size and bundling them for pickup. But don't forget, I had the boys with me, and what 7yo won't ask to use a tool when he sees dad pull one out. After a short safety lesson, I handed over the clippers, and Godzilla set to clipping the branches, using all his considerable might.
There comes a time in every child's life when their parents look at them and say, this kid is really growing up. It may not be a single moment, a solitary event that opens your eyes, but a period when you look back and say "when did this happen." It's a mixed feeling of pride and reminiscence. Of joy and sadness. You know the age of needing you is nearing an end, and they are on the precipice of independence. Their personalities are in full swing, and you know that your kids are not just your kids, but little versions of real people.
This real little person is nearly there. He's actually able to help, and that personality is as strong as anyone's.
When did that happen?