Reading by Candlelight

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Plymouth Rock

Weekends are cherished in our household, for a number of reasons. My husband and I often work on Saturday or Sunday, so if we’re gifted with a day when all four Bradleys are at home, we don’t take it for granted.

For our boys, weekends mean more computer time (as opposed to school days), and three-day weekends make their little hearts explode with joy! So, you can imagine the tears when they came home from school last Friday – the start of Memorial Day weekend – to discover we had no Internet access and AT&T couldn’t send a technician until Monday.

For the first few hours, they wallowed in the rubble of their broken dreams and shattered plans to watch their favorite YouTubers all weekend long. Then, they dried their tears and began to look for other ways to pass the time. Of course, they have plenty of screen-reliant activities that don’t require Internet access, but something about not being online made them treat this weekend like we were without electricity. They came out of their room more often, lingered at the dinner table longer, and (surprisingly) looked at this like a challenge, rather than a hardship.

With no way to stream television shows, we dusted off our DVD collection and found some old favorites to watch at night. My husband and I listened to podcasts while making some home improvements and read magazines in total silence. Other than my occasional desire to check Facebook and see what my friends and family were up to, I found myself grateful for the excuse not to have a computer in my lap.

At one point, our younger son said, “This must have been what it was like when people had to read by candlelight.” I’m not sure that metaphor holds up, but I do agree that, like candlelight – which we save for special occasions or power outages – these quiet hours should be enjoyed more often, not just as a last resort.