Thursday, June 17, 2010

See 'em, but don't hear 'em

There are people who still subscribe to the notion that children should be seen and not heard. While I admit that my children are adorable to view, I think of what I would miss if they were never heard.

I likely would never puzzle over why the sky is blue and not pink. I might not question the differences between a one-hump camel verses the two-hump variety. And, I might never be curious enough to dig a hole in my backyard in hopes of finding a real dinosaur bone.

I understand that children can be loud and down-right obnoxious at times. And, I freely admit that I am able to tune them out while others cringe and claw at themselves in sheer agony at the piercing screams and giggles of childhood. I believe this is a trait of parenthood. We train ourselves to listen for sounds outside the normal and drown out the rest. If my children are quiet, my senses immediately perk up. I can tell the difference between a shriek of annoyance at a sibling and a shriek of pain due to falling. The sound of children is part of being a parent. And, though I ask my children to bring the noise level down a notch at times, I would never beckon them to be completely silent.

If children were seen and not heard we would see the chocolate smeared on their faces but would never hear about the yummiest chocolate chip cookie they ever ate. We would see the sadness in their eyes but never realize it was because their "bestest" friend in the whole world wanted to play with someone else at recess that day. We would see that their clothes don't match but never know it was because they chose to wear all their favorite clothes together regardless of color. We would see the dinosaurs in piles in holes in the backyard but never learn that it was the grandest imaginary fossil treasure.
I don't want my children to be spit polished and tucked in. I don't want them wearing sweater vests with nary a hair out of place. I don't want them to sit quietly and never wonder or be curious. I love that my children need to have their dirty feet scrubbed in the tub each night. I love that they have actually tasted mud pies. I delight in their laughter and marvel at their profound questions. And, yes I love their bright eyes and genuine smiles. Those things are all part of the marvelous package of childhood. Let's let children be children because childhood is short enough as it is. Let's see children and hear them too...we will surely learn a thing or two.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dry Hole

Living where we do comes with the knowledge - or fear - that there will come a time when the well will run dry. For me, that fear was realized on Saturday afternoon. As I watered our little makeshift garden I noticed our water pressure was low. I mentally noted it, but wasn't concerned by it. It was later when I asked my son to start his bath that the universe paused a moment. I was fussing with the kitchen sink and wondering if the faucet was plugged when my son came in all smiles and giggles telling me how the water was only trickling into the tub. My world slammed to a halt and I felt my blood run cold. I called...rather...I hollered for my husband and together we tromped out to the pump.

The pump was humming along but no water was being pulled up into the tank. The pressure rested at 15%. I pleaded with myself to not pass out. At that moment, I could only think of the hefty price tag we were facing. Wells don't come cheap and in these difficult economic times we are financially strapped.

After my initial breakdown where fear collided with tears, my husband and I were able to plan for the worst. Hoping that just the pump motor was bad, but sensing the whole well was dry, we took steps to pull a loan out against my 401K. On a Saturday night at 9pm, there is not much one can do. But taking a few steps towards a resolution along with an Ambien at least provided for some sleep.

Now, here is where I get to be extremely grateful. I called our pump company at 8am sharp on Monday morning. A crew arrived and by 9:30 we knew the pump motor was shot. Still waiting on a verdict on the water level, I contacted my 401K provider. After hearing my plight, a representative faxed me the paperwork to sign for tan emergency loan against my retirement fund. By 11am I had the paperwork signed and faxed to my fund manager and the loan was approved. It was moments later that my husband called to let me know that the well was indeed dry.

I choked down this information with a bit of ease since we would have the funds to cover the expense. I arrived home just prior to the arrival of the manager of the drilling crew. He provided us with a 5-digit estimate and told us he would file for permits that afternoon. In a move not typical, the County approved our permits in minutes rather than days. This allowed the drilling crew to come out yesterday evening to bring out their equipment to get set-up for an early start today.

We found out that sometimes it takes several months to get a new well drilled. We found ourselves with a dry well completely out of sync with the normal pattern so our wait was a mere 24 hours.

I am anxiously awaiting the free flow of water. It takes about 5 business days to complete a new well and destroy the old one. With luck we will be showering in our own home by next Tuesday at the latest.

My feeling of gratitude for the funds and quick response of the pump company is currently out-weighing my feelings of inconvenience. It is not convenient to be without water. It is not especially inconvenient with two small children who are home for summer. It is frustrating to fill the toilet tanks with water and to wash dishes with a two-gallon jug. It is incredibly difficult to suck up our pride and accept the use of parents' and siblings' showers and washing machines.

In a stroke of irony, on Sunday, a friend let us know we could have his old above-ground pool. We have no water but we have a pool! I can't wait to fill that pool up with water fresh from our 500 foot well! That will be a wonderful reward for these past few days filled with challenges.