Saturday, April 14, 2007


Where I work, there is a portion of the building dedicated to donating new-but-obsolete building supplies to individuals and organizations that are working to rebuild the infrastructure of the inner city. Within this area, there is a display counter of faucets that is, in essence, a countertop that has several holes drilled all over it to accomodate the ever-changing stock of faucets that are donated to us. Because the display counter is attemting to maximize surface area, many of the faucets are displayed right along the front edge of the counter, which sometimes strikes one as odd because we are used to faucets being along the back edge of the counter behind a sink.

Do you remember being a kid, standing on a footstool, reaching so far to twist the knobs? Have you held a toddler who seemed to be gaining weight as you were holding her while she twisted her hands over and over each other in the running water to rinse off the soap that you have just slathered on them, knowing that her pleasure in the action and not her lack of dexterity was the cause of your growing muscle fatigue?

As I walked through the display area at work on my way to the postage machine, Marcell had found the solution to these dilemma. He was about two and a half or three: just the age to experience the keen frustration that results from the combination of sinks and his short arms. While his mother and grandmother were talking with customer service 15 feet away, he must have spotted this nirvana of hand washing and toddled off with the focus that only a child with the hood of his winter parka pulled up over his head and velcro-ed over the lower two-thirds of his face can accomplish. (Yes, it's April in Chicago.) As I turned the corner, there he was, determinedly flipping up the handles of these impotent faucets and twining his hands around each other repeatedly in that distinctive motion. As he finished washing his hands at one faucet, he would reach up and flip the handle down, then move over five inches to be underneath the next faucet and do the whole thing all over again.


1 comment:

Futureman said...

Great story PM. Made my day!