The right man for the job

We had some heavy snow in early December. Around Christmas, it warmed up. Then, it rained. Our sump pump saw all this melt and rainwater coming and tried to run for the hills. It didn’t make it to the hills, but it shuffled just far enough to unplug itself. I can’t even blame this on a kid; I’m convinced the pump worked its own plug free of the outlet.

Hours later, the pond on the basement floor alerted us the pump’s cowardice.

When your basement floods, it’s good to have friends. Thanks to my wife, we have these. (I’m in charge of the gas and electric.) Good people stepped up with loans of wet/dry vacs and fans that helped us get things cleaned up in a much shorter time than I anticipated. For that, we are thankful.

A flooded basement also affords you a good opportunity to assess the general helpfulness of your children. Yeah, they all want to help make cookies, but who’s really ready to get down and dirty in a crisis that doesn’t result in treats?

Big Brother went bowling with his buddies. I can’t really blame him. If I could have gone bowling while somebody else cleaned up, I would have.

Buster played on the Kindle. I’m sure he was playing a flooded basement game to collect useful restoration tips for me.

Big Man was the true first responder of the day. As soon as he woke from his nap and got word of the trouble, he called for his boots. All his years of training on the family vacuum cleaner had been building toward this day. There was water on the floor and a shop vac to be manned. It was his moment.

No task is too big; no boots too cute.

No task is too big; no boots too cute.

I’m not upset at the other boys for not rushing to help. This kind of event is not the same adventure for boys their ages as it is for Big Man, and I certainly did not need all three of them underfoot as I cleaned. In the end, Big Man helped out more by providing spiritual comfort, cuteness, and perspective than by the amount of water he sucked up. He was the right guy at the right time for the right job. That’s why he came to help. Children have a way of knowing these things.

I’m glad the others kept out of the way of my cleaning and of Big Man’s cheering me up. It worked out perfectly. Well, almost perfectly. It would have been just a little better if the other two were upstairs helping somebody make some cookies for when the basement work was done.