A surprising night

Part of Slice of Life on Two Writing Teachers

The boys are home early from their dad’s. Thats not the surprise. Neither is their wrestling that starts almost immediately.

It’s a little surprising that they stop when I ask them to, but they also start right up again in the kitchen this time.

I am a little startled to hear the shattering of a wine glass in the sink. But I do live with two teenage boys, and I do enjoy a glass of wine some nights.

Some nights.

We stare at each other for a bit. The silence a few beats longer than usual as I collect my thoughts, take deep breaths and implore them with my eyes to stop the fooling around. No, I’m not exactly sure what parenting technique this is. But it’s been a long week and it’s only Tuesday so it’s all I got, I guess.

“Your shenanigans has got to stop!” I say sternly as I pick up the shards of glass. I mean, what would you say? Plus, I love that word. Shenanigans. I keep going as I start to clean up the shards of glass. “Please unload the dishwasher.”

For some reason this daily request is always a surprise to them. A shock actually. They look at me with utter disappointment.

“I liked it better when you weren’t talking,” A teenager says.

Someone picks up a Halloween cup from the counter refill their water, and is about to take a drink when I realize I hear something in their glass.

“I thought that was ice,” he says. “I almost gulped down that broken glass.”

Suddenly I notice that our new faucet is leaking from right above the nozzle

So weird.

We try to tighten it, but we loosen it instead so the hose gets sucked all the way into the faucet and disappears.


E feels bad and wants to fix it. I want to call the plumber. Well, really I want to call my dad, but he’s out of town and very busy. I think briefly about how I’m supposed to YouTube things like this. That’s what strong single moms do these days, you know.

But in a rare moment of clarity, I realize that I don’t have the brain space to start plumbing projects.

I call the plumber and as it rings and rings, H comes in the kitchen, opens the cabinet under the sink.

“Please don’t mess with it,” I say, imagining two teenagers unscrewing pipes and water shooting out everywhere.

Of course, the plumber doesn’t pick up so I leave a voicemail, struggling to figure out how to explain the situation. What are the real words for this nozzle and this hose, and the long part of the fixture?

“So my faucet was leaking and I tried to tighten it but the hose just…” I get out. Then the hose is pushed up into the faucet, and it just hangs there.

“Actually, my son just got it while I was explaining this. So, um. . . If it doesn’t work, I’ll call you back! Goodbye!”

H looks at me and sighs. “That’s why you don’t call someone before you ask me to fix it, mom.”

And, he’s not wrong. Lessons learned, right?

Ask for the help around you, trust your kids, and always — I mean always make sure you have more than one wine glass.

1 thought on “A surprising night

  1. I love this story. The way you layer the events, letting us feel your tension, your anxiety, your frustration. One of your boys saying, ““I liked it better when you weren’t talking,” Then the boys deciding to check it out themselves, and figuring out something — that works! lovely.

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