Two evenings ago at around 6 pm I was upstairs peacefully making dinner when Seth ran up from the basement and reported, “There’s a leak downstairs.”
I threw aside everything I was doing and screamed because “leak” is one of those emergency words in the life of a parent. I ran down the stairs as quickly as I could, with Seth running ahead of me.
In a flash I realized that the water pipe to the hose outside the basement wall had frozen and burst. I could hear water gushing and see it seeping quickly onto the floor of our finished basement which contained not only a very full storage room and laundry room, but also beds, bookcases, desks, a sectional couch, toy boxes, dressers, a futon, end tables, chairs, throw rugs, a wrestling mat, and all of the children’s stuff that they threw on the floor instead of put away (clothes, shoes, books, garbage).
I called Rich and said, “Rich, Rich, quick tell me how to turn the water off in the house!” He sputtered, “What?… H?… B?… Why?… What’s happening tell me what’s happening?” I quickly told him and he helped me get the water turned off , said he would be home soon, and we hung up.
(I’ve learned in 22 years of marriage that his “home soon” meant “as soon as I get there” which was not the same thing as my “home soon” which meant, “10 minutes or less”. In this instance, he did indeed get home in 10 minutes (he was at the school) and I almost fell over in surprise because I thought it would be more like…..whenever he was done with practice).
Thank goodness I was about 3 days behind in laundry and there were approximately 10 dirty bath towels in the laundry room ready to be used as a temporary wall to hold back a most giant alarming puddle from spreading further into the room.
It could have been so much worse. In fact, I couldn’t help myself from continuing to say over and over and over, “This could have been a DISASTER an absolute DISASTER! If you boys weren’t in the basement, if you hadn’t run upstairs so fast to tell me, if Dad hadn’t answered his phone, if we weren’t home at the time, the WHOLE BASEMENT WOULD HAVE FLOODED!”
Finally Seth interrupted me to ask in all seriousness, “Could we have gone swimming?”