Do you remember that scene in Castaway when Tom Hanks finally, painfully sparked a fire and it changed everything about his relationship with the island and he danced all around yelling to nobody in particular just for the sheer joy of it? "I! I made fire! Me! I! Fiiiirrrre!" All while banging his chest and shouting to the heavens?
Well, I just did that (or I had just done that when I started this blog post). But not for fire.
See, I had been in a battle of epic proportions with a broken toilet that whole miserable week. It was an exceptionally crazy week, with a hundred more things on my plate than I actually could accomplish, way too many non-negotiables colliding, and at that moment The Captain was away in Honduras doing amazing things. Part of his crazy wonderful new job is to travel a bit, help poor kids get sponsored, and show people the reality of how well the sponsorship program works in each country. It's a super crazy cool opportunity and aligns so perfectly with our family's desire to help kids in crisis and to help impoverished families remain intact. Obviously adoption is a big part of our life and our passion, but we believe that poverty should never be the reason a child is relinquished for adoption.
So when he is away in whatever state or continent doing these amazing things, I try my very hardest to keep him from worrying about or being distracted by all the inevitable crazy random stuff that just tends to happen here when a parent is out of town. Say, like, when Child 3 has basically been pitching fits in all her waking hours for a solid four days...or, when the A/C goes out in my car and the Wilson ladies have been roasting due to the sun's decision to randomly crank that heat up...or, when all three children wake up crying/gagging/or complaining of some ailment when I have an especially important day at work...or when we've had to make not one but two office visits to the pediatrician in a 3-day span, etc. These things and more can and will happen every single time one of us is away. So while HIS part is to go and do amazing things there, MY part is to keep it all together here and that's just how it works.
Back to the toilet.
The toilet picked a fight with the wrong lady that week. I don't mean to overwhelm you people with my technical toiletry jargon, but the little strappy thing that connects to the push-down thing and lifts up the big round flapper thing at the bottom to let all the water out? Well, that little strappy thing broke. I rigged it a few times by pushing the strappy thing through the arm thing, but it wouldn't hold. Too short. Then for the next day I just pulled it up manually every time someone used that toilet, but that whole dance got old real fast. By Wednesday I would have paid you $500 for a whole new toilet if that's what you said I needed.
But on THURSDAY, I went to Lowe's. And I found the plumbing aisle (Lowe's has the best signage, y'all, they really do). And I studied those bins until I found a new piece that had the same strappy thing that was flying all over the inside of my turlet like a dancing windsock at a used car lot. And I gave them my $4, and I drove straight home and I showed that toilet who was boss. I turned off the water, drained the tank, took out the old strappy/flapper thing, and installed the new and improved (and flaming red, which was kind of like cool new turlet bling since all its other innards are white) strappy flapper thing. I turned the water back on, refilled the tank, and flushed that toilet over and over and over just so it would know who was the boss of it.
It was undoubtedly one of the proudest moments of my adult life. I won. I! I fixed the turlet! Turletttt!!!
I felt like Rosie the Riveter. This won't be the last of our random home emergencies that pop up at the worst moments, but winning that battle gave me a little reassurance that we can do this.
This all might seem very silly to you smart people who can fix a turlet flapper strappy thing in your sleep, but it was so nice for me, in the thick of such an endlessly challenging week, to figure a hard thing out. It felt so good to whoop a problem with nothing but tenacity and my $4 fire-engine red toilet jewelry.