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Drama, drama, drama

Oh, the joy of Frappaccino. Oh, how I need it. Oh, what a week.

I think I’m done with drama for now, thankyouverymuch. I’ve had my fill. I’m all for dramalessness.

Tuesday: Meghan is at church camp, so the boys and I are doing our thing and trotting along oh-so-merrily. I take them with me to the gym on Tuesday morning, then we come home, fix lunch, and I head for the showers. The boys are contentedly eating and playing together. When I step out of the shower, I notice the creepy silence – never a good sign when two little boys are temporarily unsupervised.

I walk out in my bathrobe, turban towel around my wet head, and find Griffin in the office playing on the computer. No Nathan.

Call for Nathan upstairs. No answer.

“I saw him by the front door.”

Front door has been unlocked. I step outside, scan up and down the street. There is not a soul in sight.

I run back inside, throw on some clothes and a pair of flip flops, then go back outside. I’m calling for him, I’m looking around – still no sign of him.


Now I’m starting to panic.

My neighbor’s garage door is open. Trying to think like a four year old boy, I guess that maybe he went over there to play. I ring her doorbell, ask if she has seen him – no, but she’ll send her daughter on her bike to help us look, and she’ll check their backyard – there is a pool in their backyard. My mind can’t go there.

Griffin and I run back into our house, look under all the beds, still calling for him. Still no answer. I grab my car keys, and we start driving around the neighborhood. No sign of him.

God, where is he? Where did he go?

The fact that I have just started reading The Shack does not escape me. I have procrastinated starting this book because I feared my runaway imagination and the inevitable nightmares that would come from reading about a child abduction and murder.

I also think about the parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin. I think the analogy breaks down in my panic. God knows where my son is, and I do not.

We drive up and down the street, then drive around the block. How far could a four year old go in just a few minutes?

As I turn the corner back to our house, I see my neighbor and her daughter on their bikes…and Nathan. Sweaty, barefoot – but safe.

I want to hug him. And kill him.

Turns out that he and Griffin were having some kind of conversation over lunch about Griffin going to another country. Later when Griffin was playing on the computer, Nathan couldn’t find him and decided to go looking for him.

Nathan got a huge, very stern talking-to that day about going outside without a grown-up, about how much I love him and want to keep him safe, about bad people who want to hurt little boys and take them away from their families. He spent most of the afternoon in his room. Aaargh.

It took me a good 24 hours to come down from those 15 minutes of horror. Just in time for the next drama.

Thursday morning: Meghan is back from camp, Nathan is wearing a shock collar (not really), and life is returning to normal. Laundry, chores, cleaning up around the house. I go to the gym again that morning, come home and take a shower, get all cute and pretty-fied. I step out into the family room with all my cuteness…and the carpet is soaking, sopping, drenching wet.

I really need to stop taking showers in the middle of the day.

Meghan had put a load of towels into the washing machine, just as I had asked her to do, and when she changed the water level knob, it didn’t click over all the way. So the washer didn’t know what to do – medium load? large load? – so it just kept filling up with water. And filling. And filling.

All the way across the family room. All the way into my bedroom.

Water, water everywhere…

I’m standing in our laundry room in at least an inch of water – and I’m panicking. I don’t know what to do!! Besides turning off the washing machine, what do I do? I’m completely overwhelmed. So I grab a broom and try to sweep the water out the back door.

Ummmm, no.

Shop vac. We have a shop vac. Get the shop vac. Suck up the water.

It’s not working. It’s full. Probably from the previous washing machine mishap. Dump the old, nasty water down the driveway, resume water sucking duty.

Within five minutes, I am dripping with sweat. Not so cute anymore.

I call Michael. “You have to come home RIGHT NOW!”

In typical, calm, let’s-not-panic, Michael-style, “Okaaaay…I’m still seeing patients right now…”

Well, that doesn’t help.


I suck up all the water I can while the kids are fruitlessly attempting to soak up the water with towels and washcloths, then squeezing out the water in the laundry room…”that’s not helping me!”…take the towels outside…

Pulling up the carpet…moving books off of bookshelves so we can move the bookshelves and pull up the carpet…moving the dresser in my room…pulling up carpet behind the dresser…

I look up to the ceiling and yell out loud, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”

I realize that I cannot do this. Michael is not coming home. I cannot move an 800 lb. entertainment cabinet and pull up the rest of the carpet. There is more water than I can deal with on my own, and it is slowly creeping through the padding to reach even further corners of our home.

I cannot do this.

Suddenly, I remember. 24-hour emergency water removal service. The same company that has cleaned our carpets and dealt with the previous mess. They can do this.

I make a frantic phone call, then take a deep breath and relax. I have done everything I can do. Now I just have to wait for the superheroes to arrive and take over…

So yes, I have had a heaping portion of drama this week. I know better than to say anything about not having any more drama for a while because as soon as the words are out of my mouth, another dose of drama will pop out and shout, “Surprise!”

(Actually, I hear it giggling from behind the closet door. We’ll get the final bill for the carpet tomorrow. Our superhero promised to try and keep the price under our deductible. Our $2500 deductible.)

I know there are lessons here. I know there are metaphors and analogies. I know God is present. I know that in the scheme of eternity and world suffering, this is an insignificant blip. (A very dramatic, expensive blip.) I am thankful for my son’s safety. I am thankful that my entire home was not flooded and destroyed by a hurricane. It was just a little water. A lot of water. No, a little water.

It will all be fine. I will be fine. It’s all in the scheme of this crazy life.

It’s all to be continued…

Most dramatically, I’m sure.


7 thoughts on “Drama, drama, drama

  1. It's good thing Michael was still seeing patients so they could pay him so he can pay for the emergency water removal!As for Nathan's adventures, I want to hug him and kill him FOR YOU! Of course, he'd probably yell "stranger danger" if I got close because he was really little the last time I saw him. Not sure if he even remembers me! As for laundry, I think they should make washers that have safeties on them like riding lawn mowers. If something isn't turned all the way, it won't work, etc. Might mean it takes way longer to do laundry if you go off and leave it for a while like that, but no flooded houses!!!

  2. Oh Jennifer … I can't believe it. I may have to stop reading your blog … the craziness is killing me. Didn't that exact same thing happen once before – the washing machine being set in between sizes? I think of it every time I switch my load size. I REALLY hope this is the end of it for you! 🙂

  3. I'm glad your son is safe and sound!! Maybe instead of your washing machine you could use rocks and a bucket out back. (Wash clothes and water your yard… there's your two birds!) In my opinion I don't think it was because you showered in the middle of the day – I think it has something to do with going to the gym!!Monica

  4. Wow! What a story! I've had some of those "Are you kidding me?" moments as well. :)I read your post on the Dr. Wives blog. What a great post! Thanks for the encouragement. I am so right there in the waiting phase… we've still got four more years to go. 😦 It's nice to be reminded to enjoy this time now instead of trying to wish it away because it is so tough.

  5. Pingback: Oh (not so) precious is the flow… | from the corner of my couch

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