Some days are perfect in quiet joy.
Other days, yesterday, are innocuous in their start, unremarkable in their unfolding, their errands, their meetings. On these other days, it's easier to get annoyed by the spilled smoothie, harder to get excited about the preschool potluck, even though you know it will be fun when you get there.
On this particular other day, when you open the door at home in the evening, in your mad dash to grab your potluck dish and get back to school in time for the meal, something smells funny when you get inside the mudroom, musty and damp and a little chemical. It's when you open the door between the mudroom and the kitchen that you hear water: dripping, running, pouring, gushing water, and you tell the kids to stay right where they are and you turn on lights and find that the water is flowing through the ceiling in your bedroom and down through the air return into your heating vents and into the basement and right over the furnace. And by the looks of things, this has been going on for a long time, hours, probably all day.
So you call your landlord, feeling grateful that you rent. And you discern that the living room is dry, and you get the kids set up with some puzzles, and you figure out that the water is coming from a burst pipe in the attic bathroom, because of course this is one of the coldest days that Oregon has seen in years. And you mop up water, and you try to laugh about the fact that you now have a waterbed and you take pictures for the insurance and you feel grateful that you have insurance. And you pack up bags and go to your parents' house and get the kids in bed and drink two big glasses of wine and fall into bed yourself and sleep fitfully, dreaming of insurance adjusters and wondering what the damage will look like in the morning.
When morning comes, you get up early and get the kids ready and take them to school, and you think about going by the house but you can't bear it, and you just go to work where you wait for your landlord or the insurance or someone to call with news. And you wait. And you wait. And you think about how this is life, this bad stuff, too, and that it could be worse, but it could be better, and that on balance, even dealing with this, things are better than they have been, better than they could be. And you feel grateful that life has taught you how to handle big crises and grateful that Maddie and Riley saw the whole thing as an adventure.
And then you feel exhausted by what lies ahead.