I think they will remember the hotel. Yes, that’s what they’ll remember. They’ll remember three nights at the hotel.
Remember how we had separate bedrooms? And remember the counter where we pretended to be at a restaurant? And we had two separate bathrooms. And three (3!) televisions!
And we had waffles Every Morning for breakfast! Yes, they had that really cool waffle cooker that you poured your own batter in, and then you flipped it over, and then the timer went off when your waffle was All Cooked.
That was Cool.
Yes, I think that’s what they’ll remember.
I hope they Won’t remember how the house stunk to High Heaven, and how it felt gross to even think about going into the basement. I hope they won’t remember how we started to run short of clean clothes or how– briefly, sometimes– our tempers flared.
Maybe they’ll remember the Moment of the Burst on Friday afternoon, when Everett declared that Something Was Broken downstairs, because he heard all of that rushing water just after someone flushed the toilet.
I’ll remember it: Mom, something’s broken, he said.
Yes, I’ll remember that, and the water seeping under the carpet. I’ll also remember the sigh of relief when Bill came home and inspected the point of the leak. He examined it, and he fixed it (we thought) and That was That.
And so I’ll also remember when, on Sunday, Everett made a second announcement horrifyingly similar to the first, at which point we discovered that it wasn’t so easily repaired as we had thought. No. And this water that was seeping under the carpet, yes, this water that we thought was just water– Just Water– was Not Just Water At All, but rather was all the Dirtiest and Most Vile water in the house. You know the kind: the water that is usually swept away with every flush by every drain and taken off somewhere through something called a sewer system.
That was the water in the basement.
Which is why we we are here– the Residence Inn, night 3.
The children are having a great time.
I’m thinking they might remember the workmen who will have to knock down a wall and rebuild it again after they have finished cleaning and cleaning and cleaning the concrete pad of the basement floor. They will probably remember having new carpet installed and new wall boards repaired, and new tile by the French doors that lead onto the deck.
They won’t remember how their father spent his Sunday: cleaning the Vilest Water out of our basement. They won’t remember it because they didn’t really realize it was happening, playing, as they were, quietly and happily all through a Sunday afternoon. They won’t remember it because their father didn’t make much of it. He just cleaned and cleaned and cleaned and Never Complained Once and never asked for help because he just didn’t want any of us to have to participate in So Very Disgusting a task.
I will remember that.