A couple of weeks ago we had a fantastic storm: the early evening sky grayed; treetops whipped and tossed in the driving wind;  rain hammered the house and streamed in sheets down the windows.  Even J, who is famously nonchalant about storms,  strolled into the living room to point out that it was nothing to worry about and then stayed at the window to watch.  The boys stood at his either shoulder, quiet and large-eyed.  Then the lights flickered.  Then the power sighed and went out.

As soon as we lit the first candle, B said, “It’s a birthday party!”

My kind friend Kia had brought us a delicious chicken and rice dish for dinner, and when we served it up at the candle-lit kitchen table the boys instantly proclaimed it “Birthday rice!”  Our everyday tortilla chips, normally much less favored than potato chips, became a delicacy as soon as they were dubbed “Birthday chips!”  Dinner proceeded around a cluster of candles, punctuated by calls for “Moah birfday chips!  Moah birfday rice!”

While the baby napped after dinner we curled up on our big bed with the boys and read A Child’s Garden of Verses (and sang it, set to mama’s made-up tunes) by the light of candles on the dresser and a flashlight in daddy’s hand.  C kept maneuvering to get his head more onto my shoulder.

The power came back on just after the boys went to bed–which was just right for us as cleaning up the kitchen is slightly easier with electricity.  But for days, the boys would pause in the middle of something (splashing in the pool; eating chicken nuggets;) and shout, “Birthday party!”.  And laugh and laugh.