Sometimes we have really good intentions. Sometimes those good intentions work out as planned and the results are wonderful. Sometimes those same good intentions, take a wrong turn.
After work tonight I went outside to clean out the pool which desperately needed vacuumed out. It was just Parker and I so I asked him if he would like to come out and help me. He wanted no part of that so I went out to clean it on my own.
As I was almost finished I heard Parker call for me from inside the house. I looked up and saw him standing in the doorway in his boxer briefs, he opens the door and yells out that he is ready to take a bath. I finish putting things away and head inside. Looking back, the fact that he was only in his boxer briefs should have been a sign.
As I started to run the bath water Parker kept asking "we got hot water back?" which I thought was a little tiny bit odd but I though he was asking because the hose was running outside refilling water that had been drained from the pool during vacuuming. I told him we had plenty of hot water and left the bathroom so he could get in the bath.
With Parker in the bath, I walked downstairs to change back into my clothes. As I walk towards the laundry room to put my towel in the hamper I notice the floor in front of the washer and dryer is soaking wet. Seriously, soaking wet. I was completely puzzled as to where the water could have come from. I immediately looked up at the ceiling to see if it was coming from upstairs but the ceiling was (thankfully) dry.
As I stepped back to figure this out, I notice out of the corner of my eye that the hamper - which was full of towels when I went outside - was completely empty. I drop my beach towel onto the floor and open the washing machine to look inside. What first looked empty as I began to raise the lid turned out to be a washer about 1/3 of the way full with dirty water.
I glanced around me hoping to see the towels on the floor somewhere as I notice the dryer is on but not on - running and lines of water are seeping out of the bottom of the door. I slowly open the door not sure what I will find and inside is 3 soaking wet loads of laundry.
The towels that were already in the dryer.
The clothes that were in the washing machine.
The towels Parker "washed" for me.
It was about this time that I noticed that smell. That burning smell. I quickly start unloading the dryer, placing as many of the completely drenched items as I could into the hamper and stacking the rest on top of a towel I put on top of the dryer.
The clothes and towels are steaming. A smoky steam was coming off of this pile of clothes. I lean down and look in the dryer which I now see is also letting off this smoky/steam through the back vent thing inside the dryer. My moment of "How will I afford to fix my dryer" panic was replaced with a complete thankfulness. I stopped in my tracks for a couple minutes just to say Thank You to God. I realize this could have been much worse.
I gathered 8 towels and laid them on the floor to soak up the water that had leaked out. I took another towel and dryed out the inside of the dryer which had at least 1/4 of an inch of water in the bottom. I started my first load of re-wash in the washing machine. All while saying Thank You.
At that time I wasn't sure if the dryer would survive or not. I had done all I could, I dried it out and left the door open. Then I did what most girls would do in a situation of distress... I called my dad.
I told him how proud I was of Parker for wanting to do this on his own. Not a lot of 14 year olds love to do laundry but mine does! I told him I clearly I needed to set a few rules in place. I asked him about my dryer and it's possible outcome. I told him how Thankful I was that no matter what, it wasn't worse. No one was hurt. Nothing caught fire. And then, we laughed. We laughed over the situation and the relief. Like all good dads, mine has a way of calming me and making everything better.
I went up stairs where I met Parker uniquely wrapped in his towel, I asked him if he was all clean and he offered his pitters up for me to smell to prove he was. I passed on that and asked him if he did laundry while mommy was outside. With a very proud smile he said, "Yes! AND put in the dryer!". He was very proud of himself - and I was proud of him. Doing laundry may not seem like a difficult thing to most 14 year olds or something they would be proud of but to Parker, who has Fragile X Syndrome, this was a step of independence to be proud of.
I smiled and told him I was proud of him and asked if the towels were wet when he put them in the dryer. He said, "Yes, I washed them!" We talked about how we have to wait until the washing machine stops and the water is all shook out from the laundry so there is no dripping. We also agreed that he would wait for me before doing laundry next time.
After running a couple errands, Parker and I (while standing on soaking wet towels) put the clothes from the washer into the dryer and then I stepped back while Parker started the next load to be washed all by himself. I breathed a sigh of relief when he pushed the button to start the dryer and it turned on. I checked on it at least 5 times while that load dried to be sure everything was working as it should - and it was.
Looking back everything makes sense now. His shirt and shorts had gotten wet while he was transferring the water filled towels to the dryer (I found his clothes in the dryer!) which is why he was in his boxer briefs in the kitchen. He used hot water for the towels (because that's what we do!) and was worried that it had taken all the hot water which is why he wouldn't have any for his bath. Now I know.
While his plan didn't work out quite the way he had hoped, his intentions were very, very good and I am so very proud of his initiative and want to help.
Sometimes the very best of intentions don't go quite as planned. Sometimes, they leave your floor soaking wet :-)