From the plaster corners of the house where the ceiling meets the wall seeps a tiny breeze of dry, chill air. I can feel it gently flowing down the walls and windows to pool like water around my bare feet. It oozes across the hardwood floors like a ghost. My monotonous paths across the floor are happily punctuated by the system of warm heat ducts that run just underneath. The linen closet where we keep the towels and try to hide the junk food is right over the gas furnace unit, and there is nothing better than warmed towels and the warmed potato chips hidden in them.
The children and I have unconsciously mapped out the arteries that run through the house, as these are the best places to play our board games or to change clothes. Tonight, however, the 3 year old is bidding time on the kitchen computer, building things and killing zombies in Minecraft after a vigorous game of "Throw the Ball Down the Stairs for Daddy to Catch and Return".
I'm cleaning the kitchen counter off while playing "Keep the Balloon off the Floor" with my oldest, trying to avoid the computer-playing preschooler in the center of the 12'x14' room. Daddy, on hand to help where ever needed, notices my distress while I'm cleaning.
"There's a nasty spot here on the counter. It won't come off...I need a solvent, or baking soda. Do you have anything in the basement?"
"Is it sticky? Is it gooey? Is it greasy?"
"No, it's waxy."
"I have just the thing!" His eyes light up. "I'll go get my hand-plane."
"NO! I'll just get some baking soda or something out! You're going to take the veneer off the counter-top!"
I'm reminded of the time our first son had his first loose tooth, and he came up from the basement with pliers to help.
But alas, the husband who has a tendency to get monomaniacal about random interests has his mind set. He proceeds to run to the basement and come up to hand-plane the kitchen counter top. (He's starting to get into hand-planes, though he promised me he wasn't going to get "that" into them.) So far he's done bowling, Kirby vacuums, bicycles, tops, yo-yo's, aquariums, stunt kites, string-making, lathes, worm-farms, regular golf, disc golf, Plants vs. Zombies, Minecraft, fuel-efficient portable cooking devices...now it's hand-planes...of course.
I just kinda step back and stare at the wall while he hand-planes the kitchen counter clean.
"You just junked up my hand-planer," he says with a smile.
"It wasn't my idea! You do know we are the strangest family that exist in real life, right?"
"No way," he replies with a bigger grin.
And so it goes. Our circus of passions and hobbies seeping from every corner of the house like the cold air from the old plaster. Me with my passion for practical science regarding psychology, neuroscience, antique marbles, gardening and cooking, while trying to make a living as a painter -- and my husband tinkering with everything else while managing a cabinet shop to pay all the bills. We have two brilliant and unusual children and a dead pet cat buried in the backyard. It's a good life, but we wish the cat wasn't dead sometimes.
Anyway, I'm going to leave these reflections here for now as we're starting a game of Risk, and I need to get the baby into bed after a healthy session of killing zombies on the computer game. Take care, people. As always, thanks for reading The Brain Drain. ;)