“Power is not a two-way street” is what went through my mind when I got my youngest son’s text last night:
“Oh no!” was his response to our mini-crisis (i.e. potentially sleeping in a house without air conditioning or working alarm clocks or power to charge our cell phones — though I admit the biggest threat was having no AC in August).
My son moved out of our house the beginning of June, forcing our entry into the phase of life called “empty nest.” (We may or may not have entered that phase with a bottle of champagne, high fives, and tentative naked strolls through the house. OK. Stop visualizing. I was kidding.) But since our son’s willing departure, we have become “optional” factors in his day to day life. He texts when he wants, now that he no longer has to communicate his every coming or going. Sometimes we barely hear from him. Other times he misses us. Or the money we pay for a job well done. Or the leftovers in our refrigerator.
And sometimes he misses our power.
Such as the night before we lost ours when he lost his.
His text that night:
Our response? (Well, we were sleeping and didn’t actually respond to his text, but I did respond when he stood at our bedroom door and verbally awakened me at 8:30-something to let me know the situation.) But the result was the same as if we’d answered his text as he’d expected. He spent the night. In an air conditioned house with light and water and everything (except maid service, which he forgot, apparently).
But the following night, when our power went out — ironically, as we ate the fabulous, albeit pricey pizza delivered by our favorite driver, the one who had turned to us in his powerlessness — did our youngest son offer his aid (i.e. his apartment) in our power crisis?
No. He offered mere platitudes. A wimpy Mr. Bill rendition and pizza delivery driver combination of fluff:
Which is when I thought, “Power is not a two-way street.”
Of course, we do have a house large enough to have housed five children (please note the use of past perfect tense in that phrasing) and a fully equipped guest room (please note the use of the word guest modifying room). It isn’t a hardship for us to welcome guests for a short time. Adam, on the other hand, has an apartment he shares and so would only be able to offer his own bedroom with a dilapidated mattress set (minus the frame so he can’t lose anything under the bed). We wouldn’t have imposed on him (even though he does have air conditioning).
Besides, he still hasn’t told us where he lives.
(Lucky for us, our power returned an hour later.)