|picture from http://astronomycentral.co.uk|
My kids had just come back from a birthday party and taken their showers. They were sitting in their pjs in front of the TV in the family room and we were browsing the channels when I realized that it was exactly 8:30 p.m. I had not prepared anything to celebrate Earth hour but I still wanted us to participate. I mentioned it to the kids and first they were not very excited at the idea to miss their shows. We then switched off all the lights in the house except for the one above the oven and we also left the oven on as my husband was cooking dinner.
I went to get some candles and put them on the family room table where my oldest daughter was making a bracelet on a bead loom. The three other kids and I didn’t really know what to do and we were just watching her in the dim light. I suggested telling stories but nobody had any idea. My husband suggested hand shadows but we couldn’t find the print out with ones other than the regular ones the kids knew already. I was thinking that one hour was going to be very long when I mentioned that we should go outside to look at the stars.
Outside, none of our neighbors were participating as we could see lights shining everywhere. One of our neighbors even had his radio on really loud and we could hear some dancing music. The weather was slightly overcast and we could only see the very bright light of one star piercing through the clouds. The kids settled on the swing and started to talk. My oldest son went to get some cars for all of them to play with. At this point, it had only been 20 minutes and I wasn’t sure how much longer they would enjoy this.
When a song from Adele came up on the neighbor’s radio, my two daughters started to sing. After 36 minutes, my little one (5) gave up on the whole idea and I decided to take him back inside to stay with his dad. When I came back out, the radio had stopped and the two girls were still singing songs with my oldest son keeping the beat. The sky had cleared up and we could finally see all the stars. It was beautiful. My oldest daughter was excited and showed us the little dipper, the big dipper and the archer. When I asked her how she knew, she mentioned Barbie movies.
After a while, as I was looking at the stars and enjoying the breeze, I realized that the kids were actually having fun. They had made it to 9:30 without TV or Nintendos and wouldn't have gone back inside yet but dinner was ready. When I told them I was proud of them, they said:
“Let’s do that every Saturday”.
How did you spend your earth hour?