I love egg rolls.
The crispy edges, the chewy wrap, the bits of salty fillings, all erupt through the tangy sweetness of duck sauce.
In my other hand is a skewer of teriyaki beef. It is cooked and seasoned to perfection. I grunt my approval as I tear into the hand-held food with reckless abandon. The next bite goes in before the last one is swallowed. Hot black coffee runs down my throat, slaking my thirst. On and on I eat and drink until a smattering of small, empty, white cartons and crinkly aluminum bags litter the table before me. It’s delicious and satisfying. I feel full and content.
It’s been years since we’ve eaten Chinese food. But tonight, on my forty-first birthday it just seems to make sense.
It’s not a sexy or exciting milepost. It’s the year of strange muscle-pulls and chronic back tightness. It certainly isn’t worth spending a lot of money at an expensive restaurant.
But sexy or not, I was born on this day so what the hell, a little MSG and eating with chop-sticks to break up the monotony sounds pretty good.
I look around the table and see my three favorite people. Not bad.
I thank them for my dinner and homemade cards as I bring my scraps to the trash-can. That’s when I see the mystery puddle.
“Why is it wet over here?”
It’s a common question in our house, one rarely met with a confession.
Tonight the silence is legitimate. No one has spilled, no one used the faucet like a squirt gun, and it’s been three hundred days since our last potty accident. Nope this mystery puddle is coming from…where?
So, ends my forty-first birthday. Chinese food and a trip to Home Depot.
I sit there alone in the kitchen, still in wet shambles, as I try to figure out what’s going on. It’s tough not to get frustrated in these situations. I have a problem and I don’t know exactly what it is or how to solve it.
I’m forty-one, out of shape and I can’t handle the smallest of home improvements.
What do I do? How much will this cost? How will we pay for it? Why am I not better at this? What’s wrong with me? Why-
Stop the negativity.
Stop the self doubt.
I smile as I unbox the new faucet that evening. My son is upstairs. I call him down to help me.
We turn on some music. He fits perfectly under the sink. His little fingers are winding their way past pipes and hoses, and a song is on his lips.
What is it about tools and music and working with your hands that can bring us together?
We laugh under there in the tight space. Knuckles are skinned, screws are lost, and more than a little gas is passed.
In the end he does it all by himself. I simply lie there coaching him and handing him tools. His pride is apparent as he turns on the faucet.
I tousle his hair and put my arm across his broadening shoulders.
The leak has stopped, the problem is solved, and a right of passage has occurred.
Forty-one is starting off pretty damn good.
Owner Spowerks LLC