Sunday, March 30, 2008

Light in the darkness.

It's been a hugely busy, fun-filled weekend...

We've had my brother visiting, and so that in itself makes life "better than Christmas", as one of the girlies said to me with shining eyes, the minute he stepped over our threshold. He has always been "Uncle" to them, which is apparently a combination of Best-Friend-Santa-Claus-and-Super-Man all rolled into one. We don't really NEED to plan activities for whenever he is here, because the good times just seem to roll on their own. He adores my girlies, and the feeling is MORE than mutual... They just can't wait to show him all of their stuff and activities and artwork and games and new skills and... and... and... And he gives them each his undivided attention and affection, every. single. waking. minute. of. the. day.

What more could a girl ask for in a brother?

The answer to that question is "NOTHING". Greater love hath no man.

That said, we DID actually manage to squeeze in some "planned activity" as well, this weekend:

"Uncle" and I took the girlies to the movies on Saturday afternoon. It was Wee Three's very first movie theatre experience, and we were all extremely proud of the fact that she managed to get through the entire show, without so much as a potty break. THAT was a feat, let me tell you, because very little gets between Wee Three and her seemingly constant need to pee... Since her graduation from diapers to big-girl-panties last fall, the two older girls and I have memorized the location of every single bathroom within a several-hundred-mile radius of our house, in case of "emergencies", which happen nerve-wrackingly frequently with our tiniest member of the family...

I'm chalking the bladder control miracle up to the miraculous quality of the new animated version of the Dr Seuss classic, "Horton Hears a Who". It is truly a captivating film, based on a marvellous story, and I have to say... I haven't enjoyed a children's film this much since "Madagascar" (my all-time favourite... That Lemur King rocks. my. socks.) The only way that "Horton" could be made any better is if you are accompanied to see it by the Über-Uncle, which we were... and so the afternoon was damn near perfect.

In the evening, I whipped up a nice little dinner while the other members of the family rounded up candles, and we prepared for The Great Switch-Off of '08. The girlies had been told about Earth Hour by their school teachers the week before. Our public school decided to have a "trial-run" of Earth Hour while the kids were in class on Friday afternoon, and so all the children went home extremely well-informed and thoroughly prepared for when the clocks struck eight on Saturday evening.

It was wonderful to eat dinner by candlelight, and the youngest girls thought it quite extraordinary when I carried a few candles upstairs so that they could do their tubby-time routine... We read bedtime stories by the light of little tiny flashlights that my father gave us at Christmastime-- our very best presents. They operate without batteries, and instead have little "cranks" on the sides of them, and must be vigorously wound-up in order to generate power. Every few pages of the book we were reading, the girls would have to crank up the flashlights again, as they giggled away... Stories took rawther a long time that night, but it was good fun.

A "novelty", I thought.

Until this morning.

Because my three children have proposed that our family make Earth Hour a weekly event. Every Saturday night, between eight and nine o'clock, we're going to do our very best to "power down" in this household. And actually, I think that it's hopefully going to become a habit that does far more than just save us a tiny bit of money on our monthly electric bill, or be the merest smidgen of "help" to stave off a global-warming crisis...

I see this not only as an opportunity to teach my children to respect the environment and develop good energy conservation habits. I see it as an opportunity to work together as a family towards a common goal, and to switch off life's outside distractions for just a little while each week. Nowadays, we are all so intensely and constantly "in-tune" with the rest of the world... And while in almost every way, that is a wonderful thing, I often wish that the glut of information we are bombarded with could be "turned-down", occasionally. Just for a little while.

Because let's face it. There are periods of time when we just don't NEED to be "reachable", or to know the "latest news", or gossip, or stock quotes.

From now on, as often as we possibly can, between eight and nine o'clock on Saturday evenings, all our family is going to need is each other.

A few candles.

And hopefully... we'll be able to remember where the heck we put the matches.


mrinz said...

Great idea. Our kids used to just love power cuts when they were young (and we had lots).

Uncles and Aunties are just wonderful in a family - they can be like a big brother/sister/parent/grandparent all rolled into one.

I still have two Aunties left - one is 85 next month and the other 89 next month. They are treasures!

painted maypole said...

hmm... the preview for that movie didn't look good, and after jim carrey RUINED the grinch i am skeptical, but i keep hearing good things, so just may have to go check it out.

weekly earth hour is an awesome thing!

Candygirlflies said...

PM, I promise, you won't be able to TELL it's Jim Carrey... It's that good.

I agree with you about him... I knew him long ago, before he was "anybody" (did you know he was once Canadian???) and I found him hard to take, even way back then!!!

xo CGF

shauna said...

We'll have to try this at our house.

We saw that movie over spring break and loved it. All of my children (count them. all! -- that means "even Zack") were absolutely capitivated from start to finish. And I'm with you--I loved the animtation. I thought they did Dr. Suess justice.

I've missed reading your blog! I'll be back more often. Promise.

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