… on launching a website

This was originally posted many years ago on my personal blog.  As I am in the throws of launching this new website I couldn’t help but think of this from years ago.  I hope you enjoy it…

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There are mornings, on rare occasions, when I find myself alone in a hot shower.

Now, it is not uncommon to have my youngest sliding the shower door open while undressing begging to come in, my middle child complaining about her little sister having eaten all “her” granola cereal, and my oldest begging to have something unacceptable as a breakfast food. Locking the door only produces screams and tiny fingers wiggling under the door jam, so I relent on privacy and the sauna affect from a closed door, and welcome my public inside my morning sanctuary.

Miraculously, call Guinness–this morning, I found myself alone for ten straight minutes showering alone and got lost in my head. This month I have, will, or am, (little bit of denial) turning the big 3-0! Wow! I remember when 30 seemed so old and now here I am knocking on the door, but not with reluctance, I find myself entering with much to be thankful for, and this is where I began to meander while in my shower…

Enter, stage right, my friend John..aka the toilet

Yes, our master bathroom toilet, a fickle friend whom since we moved in likes to flush twice in a row for no apparent reason, even a plumber consulted was remiss to offer a causative solution. P.S. don’t flush it while someone is in the shower, although hilarious effects result when watching someone scream in shock as the water goes cold and then hop around like mad when it turns scalding hot (which I cannot even type without laughingly like mad, sorry Aaron…) it not a nice way to tidy up.

Now this dear friend of whom which we would never think to ask to leave, however disobedient he can sometimes be and disgruntled as I am to clean him each week, is a necessity to our palace–our porcelain throne for which an out house could never replace. Enter my perfect day…

I could hardly believe the day. My house was “perfect,” I am not even exaggerating. My house was in order…this almost never happens. Stop by for a surprise visit and you will likely find two days of crumbs under the kitchen table, cheerios trailing through the house, dishes overflowing, Legos in the hallway, glue on the table, naked barbies, and let’s not even talk about the bathrooms. Yuck! But that day, all was in order, my girls were fast asleep-warm and bathed, in their beds, and my son and I had sat down to build his LEGO Star Wars battle ship together, just some mommy and son time.

Daddy was working late in OC and ER was playing muted in the background. Like I said, nothing glorious, just one of those everyday minutes that you have thousands of and may never even vividly recall the next week.Before I sat down I made a quick stop to see John for the last time that night. Listened to him flush twice then turned off the light and never looked back. Big mistake…

I sat down on the carpet with my Ben to delve into this 1000+ piece LEGO kit with joy in my heart for the moment. We sat there an hour putting together this ship, moving parts and all!

“Ben, where are the sticker decals, do you want to put those on?”
“Huh? Oh, yeah! Um, there in my room…oh Dad is going to think this is so cool!”
“Oh yeah, he is!”
And then Ben runs down the hallway and around the corner, then I hear him splash in a puddle.
Then I hear him splash in a puddle. Huh?
“MOM! you better come here!!!”

You know those moments where something happens and everything gets dreamy although not in a rich, sweet, milky way but, in an oh-heck-please don’t be what I think it is kind of way. That was this moment.

I turn the hallway corner and just outside my husband’s office, is a puddle above the carpet coming from the master bedroom. I traipse into the lagoon to find John taunting me with his unreliability
once again, only this time it’s not hilarious. I am mad! No furious! Can’t anything just stay nice for a day?For the record I had done a #1, nothing over taxing by any means. Had it been one of my kids, I would have interrogated how much toilet paper had been dumped and wich toy they were playing with while on the potty which had “oopsied” inside. Thanking my lucky stars the LEGO kit hadn’t taken longer else the destruction path would have also included my husbands computers, servers, etc.

So there I am sucking it up. Enter my husband, exhausted, it’s 11:30 pm and he comes home to find me sucking up bucket after bucket of water. He turns immediately back around to Walmart, (thank goodness they are open 24 hours,) to purchase a wet vac and help with the sucky cleanup. Side-by-side we worked at sucking up the mess, and our resentment at John, into the wee-wee hours of the morning. With the last bucket dumped, we laid down to catch 2 hours of sleep before the kids were up at 6…oh joy!

Now I am laying in bed, trying to doze off while 20 fans blow on the carpet to dry it out, and I a flaming mad–mad at the toilet; mad at the quirky plumbing; mad at myself for not hearing the overflow sooner; mad at madness because now I only have two maybe, two and a half precious hours of shut eye and I cannot nod off. ArghARRRRRRRRGH!

I’d like to say that this is the part where in my wisdom and maturity I knelt down on my damp carpet and gave thanks for a husband who immediately rolled up his pants and trudged through toilet water side-by-side with me for hours until the job was done, that I praised the cleverness of the invention of a wet vac, that I expressed my gratitude for having a roof and a toilet to overflow. Unfortunately, this is not that moment. It took me a few days…alright weeks…well fine, it really didn’t hit me until my shower this morning.

I thought everything was perfect, and maybe it was for a moment. And then some random act throws me for a loop, leaving me grasping in wonderment why things can’t just stay nice. Ah the delusional pursuit of order when you have small children. Such a grand and lofty vision, but ultimately a shallow notion of familial success, (my last cleave unto vanity I suppose.)

Looking back I hit a climax of my expectation that I can handle and control everything, be on top of everything, get everything down, get everything done, have everything cleaned, and everyone happy, and be perfect at everything I do and say and feel and perform. Perfect, perfect, perfect! Not very flexible.

You know, in Florida, there are a lot of palm tress, or rat houses, which ever name you prefer. Whimpy looking things palm trees. Yeah, they’re tall alright, but spindly and skinny, not very strong looking. Ever notice how on the news there is always the shot of the palm tree swaying in the gail force category 5 winds. Growing up in a family from the South, I watched my share of hurricanes. While I only went through one in person, (too young to recall it at all,) I watched my share from sunny California, on the news while my grandparents waited up with the newscaster to see it if the storm would avoid Gainesvilleand West Palm Beach where we still have family. And then breath a sigh of relief when the phones were back up and we got news that although family had lost a house, or the family store was flooded, everyone was alive and kicking. Palm trees blow into the wind, not with it, not snapping in half, but it moves into it, like a graceful dancer as she is swept up in her lover’s arms.

My toilet: the hurricane.
Me: need to be that tree.

I can look down on my circumstances–oh why me?! Or I can take the challenge and do something with it that will make me proud. My family’s hero! I can make my life fun and exciting by taking the viewpoint that a disadvantage is an opportunity. (My carpets are soooooo clean right now 🙂 And when things get tough, my husband is always right there beside me, helping me suck up the mess–now that is romance at it’s best.

There are certain milestones in ones’ life that necessitate a pondering of truths, the reflection of what has happened, what can happen, things hoped for, and the blessings that almost seem to good to be real.

Here is where I find myself now: I cannot help but remember the day the geyser toilet from Hell-o! broke-loose-for no glorious reason, and taking my seemed to be perfect day, spiraling it wildly out of control for no good reason. At the time I despaired how it had ruined one of my most successful days as a homemaker. Now, it seems like such a wonderful blessing, one of those moments that is insignificant in event yet so profoundly memorable because of how it changes you…

So, from one 30 year old tree to whoever is not reading this, when all else fails go with the flow.

My friend John has taught me this much.