When the _____ Hit the Fan?
Like most people left in charge of kiddos for any period, you tend to get worried when they are quiet. Last summer was no different, especially when the youngest pup of the litter commented that my bathrobe belt was perfect for the 'show.'
I didn't think much of it, even after the eldest inquired about his video recording feature on his tablet. So when I walked upstairs and spotted the plush, 3-foot tall Spiderman flying around the kiddos' bedroom, I should've been relieved that it wasn't an actual human circling through the air while these little jokers chanted, 'Fly Spidey, fly like the wind! The fan is going as fast as it can.' After detaching Spidey from his makeshift high-flying contraption and a little positive reinforcement about attaching things to their ceiling fan, I smiled inside at the ingenuity.
Since then, I often find myself in inspection mode. I've found two cracked picture frames, a poor door knob reattachment job, incriminating graffiti on the walls (apparently the seven-year-old thought it prudent to write Charlie was here! next to his study table) and more. I've identified damaged property in just about every room in the house, and most of them don't have incident reports on file. My kids and I have an agreement: Be honest with me about what happened, and the court of Mom will show mercy. We playfully call them incident reports. I now realize that for every minor incident report, there's a major event that's been masked for weeks, sometimes months. I'm impressed with their ability to stick together and keep a secret, just not when I'm the mark.
Just a few days ago, I gave myself a decompress moment to get some thinking done. As I'm lying flat on my back and taking in deep, cleansing breaths, I noticed that one of my ceiling fan blades is slightly askew. How in the world did the metal blade bend like that and how in the ham sandwich did I not notice this before? This was no flying Spidey, yet it had seven- and nine-year-old fingerprints all over it. The question is what did they do and when?
Two things came to mind as I sat there laughing at this major unreported incident. One, how many times have I missed things because I didn't stop to catch my breath? I wish I could say I often take moments to woosah and think, but the truth is those moments are rare. My friends and family jokingly refer to me as the field mouse - always on the go, scurrying around day and night. It's when I notice the weight of the world that I stop to reset. Two, danger could be as close as a comfortable breeze, but you may never notice before it's too late. One thing I know about ceiling fans, they are aerodynamically designed to circulate air. If one blade is bent, it impacts the motor, fan speed, and air distribution. After a while, the additional wear and tear of supporting a misshapen blade could cause damage. Here I am, just a few feet below a ceiling fan that now shakes when in operation. I know the kiddos are to blame, and yet, I might never have known had I not slowed down long enough to look up. I spend many nights asleep under this fan's breezes, but who notices blades in the dark? This thing could've come crashing down on me at any time.
I've hired an electrician to repair the ceiling fan, and I've increased my catch-your-breath moments. Only now, I randomly choose places around the house to take breaks so that I can find other unreported incidents. So far, the kitchen, family room, and foyer have passed inspection. I still don't know what happened to the ceiling fan, and my two little canaries aren't singing anytime soon. I've also accepted that I may never know what hit the fan or when, but at least now I'm paying closer attention to my surroundings and getting some much needed thinking done at the same time. When is the last time you took a moment just to be, do some thinking or reset?