The Sprinkler Man and the Glass Coffee Table


When my two oldest children were 5 and 2, we moved from one house in town to another. We didn’t gain any square footage, but the new house had a huge yard, front and back, and forty trees in a better neighborhood.

The house had been vacant for months. The sprinklers weren’t working in the front.  While my husband was in the city working, I was in charge of the repair man.

He knocked on the door.

“Come out and show me which ones don’t work.”

I glanced back at the kids, who were sitting on the couch watching a video.

“I’ll be right back,” I said.

I stepped outside and showed the man (let’s call him Hank) which sprinklers weren’t popping up or were leaking.

Hank asked too many questions, gave two many options, and kept me outside too long.

“I have to check on my kids,” I said.

When I went inside and saw the mayhem, I started screaming, The wooden coffee table with the glass center was now huge shards of glass sticking up from the floor. The kids were cowering on the couch. I scanned them for severed limbs and blood.

Their bare feet were intact.

“OMG, OMG,” I kept saying as I got a hammer and knocked down the shards after throwing a blanket over the kids. In those days, I wore glasses for distance, so no shards went into my eyes.

Looking back, I should’ve had on goggles.

“What happened?” I asked once the glass was contained within the wooden base of the coffee table.

The kids were wide-eyed and mute.

“I am so thankful that you aren’t bleeding,” I said, hugging them. At this point I was crying.

They finally told me what had happened. My son had been jumping on top of the glass. His sister joined in. Somehow, they were carried back to the couch by angels when the glass shattered into pointy peaks.

They didn’t say angels. I’m saying angels.

“Are we in trouble?” my daughter asked.

I hugged them I said, “Yes! No! I’m so glad you’re okay.”

When my husband got home and saw his bachelor coffee table in pieces, I informed him that all of his glass furniture was going bye-bye.  Our son had previously rammed his head into a pointy corner of the glass octagon table, now in the kitchen.  He had cried and had a dent for a while in his forehead.

“You’re giving away all of my stuff!” my husband said.

“It’s not safe with little kids!” I said. “Do you know what could’ve happened today?”

Hank, the sprinkler man, didn’t finish the job. He was huffed that I never came back outside. He rang the doorbell and asked me why not. I explained the coffee table and told him I had to stay in and clean up the glass and supervise my children.

He and my husband were both unhappy with me that day.

Too flippin’ bad!

The mama bear protects her cubs, even if she stupidly left them alone for five minutes, inches away from the jaws of death.

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