Sunday, February 25, 2007

Unlocking My Heart With a Wire Coat Hanger

We have his/her sinks in our master bathroom. One of my least favorite things to do, right up there with getting the oil changed, is removing the hair-clog that accumulates over time in the drain. It makes me gag every time. To avoid the chore, I start using Nate's sink when my drain gets slow. I've been using Nate's sink for a couple of weeks now, so I shudder to imagine the mass of hair that's gotten caught up in my drain.

Another thing I dislike very much is inexplicable standing water; I think this strong dislike stems from several unfavorable experiences with excess water from my past (namely a very zealous toilet in my first college apartment and a ruptured pipe beneath the sink in our newly-wed basement apartment.) We've had a puddle of standing water in our front yard for nearly a month now, so Nate went out with a shovel yesterday to try to find the source of the saturation. By noon there were three mud-covered men and a Shop-Vac in my front yard trying to locate a leak or devise a way to drain the water. At one point, one of the men asked me to turn on several of our inside faucets. I complied, turning every faucet in our house on to nearly full gush. After about 3 minutes, he signaled for me to turn them off. I started the water shut-off in the kitchen, made my way to the hall bathroom, and ended up in our master bathroom, where I found a soaking wet Henry, splashing delightedly in the deluge that was cascading over the counter, overflowing from my sink, which I had forgotten was clogged. Oops! The clean-up was cumbersome and soggy. I had to throw down several large bath towels to soak up the water, but the bathroom's back to its antediluvian dryness and the floor is sparkling with that just-mopped gleam, so I can't complain too much.

In fact, I can't grumble at all because Nate fished the hair clog out of my drain that evening, without even a hint of nagging or otherwise implied expectation--all it took was a small disaster to move him to action. Good to know for future household honey-dos. I told him last night that it was one of the "charming-est" things he'd ever done for me and his eyeballs lit up with a look that said, "Finally! The key to unlock her demanding heart!" I know, sweetie, and can you believe it's taken the form of a flattened coat hanger and that it's been sitting on the cupboard above our commode this whole time?

There are no secret keys needed to unlock the mysteries of Henry's heart. His desires are unmistakably clear, "NEED MILK! NEED FORK! NEED GUMMIES!" (editor's note: All-caps implies very loud shouting.) I encourage pleases in an effort to teach him to ask nicely. He seems to be catching on, this afternoon he shouted, "P-E-E-E-E-E-ASE MILK!" I was hoping that the politeness would foster softness, but I suppose he's got to learn manners like everyone else learns everything else--grace by grace.

Life's not always graceful around here, in fact most days I marvel at the magnificent disgracefulness with which I handle things, but there is a grace, which I choose to believe is God's, that I see and feel every day. And some days I feel very much like it is that subtly sustaining influence that keeps me from being rendered useless in the floods of my own world.

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