On the morning of my 47th birthday, Brynja was out of town. And at 4:30 AM, I found myself bent over stacks of small boxes, perusing love letters written to Brynja from past boyfriends. No, this was not the beginnings of another midlife crisis. I awoke after fantastic dreams of waterfalls, careening rivers, and pelting rains. The dreams seemed more audio than visual–coming from the storage room. I ran downstairs to be greeted by a geyser of water spraying from the main water line. It took me two hours to find a flashlight, wrench, and to run outside to the water supply. Ok, it was about 3 minutes, but it seemed longer.
Wading through 3 inches of water, surveying the damage–books, carpet, toys, letters and cards–I almost expected to step on a few trout. Triage began with the sentimental stuff–notes. The house became very small very quickly–laying out 8.5×11 pieces of paper all over the floor and furniture. Yes, I thought about Katrina victims and I put things in perspective. But the “lighter side” was provided by the kids. Sophie, in her nightgown and mussed hair, peered down from the top of the stairs. “Dad, when you saw all of this, did you say the F word?” She said with a mild grin. I scooped her off the stars, gave her a tickle and threw her in my bed–where naked Milo was warming up after peeing his bed again. Oblivious to the disaster downstairs, his mind was elsewhere. “Dad, will it start a fire? If I rub my private part too much?” Once again, the kids come though in making me laugh through a minor catastrophe.