We'll we had a quiet week for the most part at the Dev...Ranch. Jet-lag or perhaps, more correctly, cruise-lag hit me with both barrels on Monday. I was totally wiped out. Joal left before the sun came up for week in Atlanta. I climbed out of bed begrudgingly and got G to school and came home. Sat Julian up with a video and decided to catch a nap on the sofa. Nice peaceful nap. Dreaming of Grand Cayman that we didn't get to see. (Another post for another day.)
Only to have my little dreams interupted by the words "Mommy I need the key to the shed so I can get the tool to turn off the water to the house."
Come again. Is there sand in my ears. Who are you?
My 13 year old son--the one who was supposed to still be watching a video in the chair in the same room was standing over me--his voice was shaking and I could see immediately that he was drenched from his fuzzy hair to his boots. His whole body was shaking. He was clearly disturbed.
"What's wrong?" I ask with the usual amount of motherly trepidation.
"I need to turn off the water to the house down at the main. I need your key to the shed to get the tool out."
"Why?" What I was thinking was more along the lines of "What on earth are you talking about and exactly how do you know how to turn off the water to the house at the main?"
He was frustrated and still shivering. I could tell he was really worried about the impending consequences of whatever it was that he had done. "I didn't mean to." was all the information he could muster.
My brain was clearing and I could hear the ominous sound of water gushing from one of the outdoor spigots on the front of our house. I told him to sit tight, got him a towel and traipsed off to invesigate.
Thinking all the while...Joal's not coming home until Friday...I have to handle this. Alone. Whatever this is. Visions of our water/sewer guy having to make a housecall danced in my head. I saw myself writing a check...ugh. And feeling completely inept.
Sure enough, the spigot at the front of the house--naturally the one that was hidden by an overgrowth of ivy and bush, was gushing water because the controlling piece had been removed. There were various pieces of pipeage in the muddy pool of yuck that was fast becoming a flood in the bed of my front bushes.
If it hadn't been 40 degrees outside, this might have been fun.
I made a few attempts to re-attach some of the pieces that looked like they might belong on there...but did you know that if you try to cap a flowing spigot, all you get is very wet and very cold? I learned that in a hurry.
So, indeed, he was right. He needed to get the tool out of the shed that turns off the water at the street.
Wonder what said tool looks like?
I come back in and fetch him from the chair. I grab the keys and we go to the shed. He retrieves the tool and we traipse down the driveway to the box that contains the water main valve. Julian is almost 13 and I confess he has taken on quite a bit of muscle mass lately--a fact for which I was thanking the Lord, when I could not budge the valve. He was still freezing and scared, but he worked that valve with the tool like a pro.
The flow of water quickly subsided. We traipsed back up the driveway and he put all the pieces of the thingamajigs and whatchamacallits back into place. He used the vice grips to tighten it all up and wasn't beyond getting down into the muck to get the job done. I couldn't help but be proud. He loves plumbing and all things related to plumbing and he reads manuals like most boys read comic books.
When he said he was done, I whispered a prayer for it to all hold tightly under the returning pressure of the water(for his sake and mine) and walked slowly back down the drive with him, to turn the water on. He used the tool and reinstated the water.
It held and there was no more gushng of water.
The day is saved.
How do I scold or discipline him for all the rules he broke--going outside without permission, going to the front yard without telling me first, turning on the water, dismantling part of the house...all these things he knew he should not have done...and yet, he came to me when the situation became serious, he owned up immediately, and he worked hard to fix the problem. In the end, it was his skill that made it right.
We had a long talk about all this. He knew that he had done wrong. He knew that he could have caused a larger problem for our house. He gave me the most heart-felt apology I have ever heard from him. Yes, it was a serious situation but I couldn't rain down any further punishment on him. Dang it. I was too proud of his ability. He really did save the day.
So, after he was clean and dry again, and after I had some time to mull and pray, I told him that when Daddy got home he would have to tell Joal what he had done and that they would have to look at the spigot situation together. If Daddy thought that any pieces needed to be replaced, Julian would have to use his Home Depot money to pay for the replacements and he would not be allowed to participate in the replacement process. Dad would do it without him.
I told him I was dissappointed that he had done things he knew he wasn't supposed to do, but that I was glad he came to me in the crisis and that he was able to fix the problem.
He understood. All in all, I'm pretty sure that Richard Trethewey would be proud. And is probably to blame for him knowing how to turn off the main water supply anyway.
The rest of the week was fairly uneventful. And drier. Mostly.