Yesterday was the last day of the Christmas break for my 12 year old son. During his 2 weeks and 3 weekends away from school he grew accustomed to many things: hanging out with new friends in our new neighborhood; texting “stop stalking me” to his mother on his new cell phone; staying up late with his grandparents in their MIL quarters; and sleeping in late, very late. He regularly snoozed on the g-parents couch past noon as two dogs climbed all over him and the TV blared (senior citizen loud) just a few feet from his head. The kid has mad sleeping skills. So, not shocking at all when it was extremely difficult to get him up and moving at 8 AM on a Sunday morning for church. As I put the finishing touches on my own morning routine I could hear my husband hurrying him into the shower “get in there and wash your hair with shampoo AND conditioner!”
A few minutes later, as I was applying mascara (the last step in my primp) I heard my husband yelling from downstairs, “Whoa, whoa, whoa! Where is that water coming from? Something is leaking!” I ran down the stairs to the kitchen and passed my husband along the way as he ran up to my son’s bathroom. In the kitchen I could see that water was leaking through the recessed pot lights in the ceiling onto the counter and hardwood floors. Upstairs, my husband was pounding on the locked bathroom door. “Open up! Water is going everywhere! What are you doing?” I joined him at the doorway just as our sopping wet boy came out looking panicked.
As suspected, water was all over the floor and the shower was going full blast. However, as my husband shut off the shower and swept back the shower curtain, we could see the curtain had done its job of keeping the water inside the tub. As our brains completed the shower water to shower curtain math, our attention turned to the sink and the faucet that was running full steam ahead (hot water) and overflowing out onto the countertop and onto the floor. We had the source.
My son started apologizing. “I fell asleep” he muttered. I’ve fallen asleep in the shower myself, so I understood that much but what I couldn’t wrap my head around was why the sink was running and what was with the hot water? His father was yelling the same questions just I was thinking them, but we didn’t have time to investigate. We had a mess to clean up and we still had to get to church on time! We mopped up the bathroom then moved downstairs to the kitchen. Looking up at the kitchen ceiling, we could see a few wet spots near the lights but it didn’t look like a cave-in was eminent. Once we were reasonably sure of the integrity of the drywall, my mind immediately jumped to the next potential catastrophe Black Mold. Then the next, electrocution… and fire! My husband assured me that since we are running the heat most of the day, everything should dry out just fine and risks of any electrical problems were low. I put blue painters tape over the light switches so we wouldn’t accidentally turn them on when we got back from church. Better safe than electrocuted.
It all happened so fast and within a few minutes everything was dry and we were all dressed and headed out the door. As we walked to the car I had a moment alone with my son. He was hanging his head and was (what I interpreted as) uncharacteristically remorseful. Don’t get me wrong he’s an amazing, big-hearted kid, but at 12, he is no stranger to excuses and justifications when something goes wrong. It typically takes longer than a few minutes for him to get it. This time was different though, this time he clearly felt awful. I pulled him close and gave him a reassuring hug and asked him, “Why was the sink plugged and running full blast with hot water while you were simultaneously taking a shower?”