Thursday, December 18, 2008

What Are Your Lightbulb Day Plans?

I was already planning to write about Lightbulb Day, when Deb (the inventor of Lightbulb Day!) noticed that my blog is super high on Google searches for the term. (Thanks for letting me know!) So, here, I'll link you back to my post from last year . . . got it? Okay, now I'm going to tell you about our Lightbulb Day plans!

Lightbulb Day was fun last year. We turned off all the lights, lit some candles, read "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening," and then talked about lightbulbs. Ryan was especially impressed with the candle-flames, as I recall. This year, we're all so into the Little House books, that I think we'll read something from that series.

What I find interesting about Lightbulb Day is how often I thought about it throughout the year. Remember "Earth Hour" from last March? I couldn't help but recall Lightbulb Day and how even though we took the same exact actions on LD as those people did for EH--turning off the lights--our reasons couldn't have been more opposite. Those "celebrating" Earth Hour wanted people to turn of their lights in order to give the Earth a break of some sort from the affliction of humanity, the toll that the production of electricity supposedly takes on the planet. On Lightbulb Day, we turned out our lights to vividly recall those days before electricity could be commanded by humans, and to celebrate the achievements of those who harnessed the power--from Franklin to Edison to those in our times--and cheered happily when we brought light into our darkened house! So on the Earth Hour day, we had another kind of Lightbulb Day, when we lit up our house, blazing in the night, to say, YES--we are humans and we get to live here, too.

My newest child was born on the Summer Solstice (which happened to be June 20 this year, not the 21st). I'm already the kind of person who thinks, on each solstice, "Hey! Today's the solstice, the lightest/darkest day of the year!" Last summer, I thought about how awesome it was that Mr. Sean was born on the day of longest sunlight, and what a neat day to have a birthday, and how his arrival made that long-lit day even brighter. (And you know if he'd been born on the winter solstice, I would have been thinking about how he was a ray of light in the darkness! I do tend toward the poetical when it comes to my kids.) As we were enjoying those first few hours of Sean's life, I thought about how he'd be sitting up and changed and big the next time--you got it--Lightbulb Day came around! He's nearly halfway around the sun now, for the very first time. Gotta love it.

In August, we experienced terrible storms one night that knocked out power to our neighborhood for about 5 hours. So we pretended it was Lightbulb Day all over again, and used flashlights and candles and talked about Edison and all those other guys, and how we sure did miss them a lot right at that moment (it was very hot, too, and we wanted our A/C). That was fun. In November, we had a similar power outage up at our cabin and did the same thing.

So Lightbulb Day stayed with me in 2008, and we'll do a little something on Sunday, even as we're preparing to leave town for Christmas, to celebrate the time of the year where the days will begin to grow a little longer, and to appreciate those who made it possible for us to have light in the darkness.

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