Small Wonders: Taking it one day at a time

November 06, 2010

Impermanence. Though it creeps up on us silently, change has a habit of striking in the moment. Like the long-building earthquake that jolts us from sleep; or seasons that argue thunderously with wild temperature fluctuations before one relents.

Little ones' pants, yesterday scraping the ground, are Capri length today. Apples and peanut butter, last week's favorite snack, this week conjure upturned noses and gagging sounds. And my daughters must now bend low to see themselves in a mirror that was not long ago just the right height.

In hopes of preventing Thing 1 and Thing 2 from inheriting Daddy's stooping, tall-man posture, I went to the garage for my drill with a plan to re-hang the mirror higher. I tried not to get choked up seeing my recently deceased garage fridge so lonely and silent, when my anxiety found a new target.


My cordless drill's charger was missing. No doubt it transformed into a bomb during make-believe time; it's probably buried in the backyard along with 6 ounces of applesauce and a full-sized tube of toothpaste that the girls couldn't get through their pretend TSA checkpoint.

I head for the hardware store frustrated — yet happy for any excuse to go to the sanctuary of man — in search of a replacement.

"That's why I never had kids," the spindly, vested power-tools salesclerk tells me proudly when I relay my theory behind the lost charger. His castoff smugness, I sense, belies a man making excuses for how his life has turned out.

Opinions, yes, they have them. Replacement chargers, no.

Besides giving me condolences for his perceived malady of my parenthood, the clerk advises me to check the manufacturer's website. I do and find absolutely nothing to help me buy a replacement charger. But I do find several on EBay.

I bid on one and get down to the last few minutes. The cost gets up to $60 with shipping and handling, at which point I bow out in disgust. That is exactly what I paid for the drill, charger, bits and case originally. My drill, hardly a year old and in perfect condition, with all its gears, motor and handheld technology, is bound for a landfill for lack of a spare part made of cheap plastic and electrical wire. Exactly what the manufacturer wanted, I'm sure, hoping I'll just buy the new model.

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