Bleach

This is quite unplanned. The Spill is now in a series about things that spill. Because, frankly, things have been spilling. Yesterday, it was potatoes. Today, it's bleach.
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A Difficult Morning.
We are experiencing alarm clock dysfunction. Between 5:45 and 6 a.m., three different digital horns beep to deaf ears. It's probably my fault. I've made myself the final answer for the problem. At 6:05 I wander into three different beeping bedrooms, turn on the light, and announce that it's time to get up (I need to get myself out of this loop). After the alarms are turned off, each zombie son gets up without words and heads for a shower.

They are a quiet morning bunch. They get where they need to go, and do what they need to do. It's just the initial jump start that's a challenge right now. Somehow, today's jump start didn't happen for Isaac. At 6:50 I wandered downstairs to change over laundry, and noticed he was still sleeping. This doesn't normally happen. He hates to be late. Estimated time of departure is around 7:05 a.m. So, at my voice, he startled and jumped out of bed. Things got worse from there.

The Spill.
After a fast shower and a search for socks in the laundry room, he bounded upstairs into the kitchen in a total panic. "THE BLEACH SPILLED ALL OVER THE PLACE!" I caught his panic and ran with it. We both flew back down the stairs.

He was right. The bleach had spilled. In the sock hunt, the bottle was bumped. The lid popped off when it hit the hamper. As Murphy's Law would have it, I had just told everyone, "Bring your dirty clothes down to the laundry room." Which they did. Which meant that two hampers and a pile of clothes were sitting directly in the path of the bleach flood.

To his credit, when the spill happened, Isaac made a flash swoop to get the clothes out of the way and mop up the mess with a rag. But, the chemical reaction was already set in motion.

The damage wasn't as bad as I expected. After clean-up, the victims were a towel, my only black jeans, a hoody, a couple socks, and the carpet outside the laundry room (which needs cleaning anyway). Later, I did notice a small blotch on my sweats. And I still can't find the cap to the bleach bottle.

The Fallout.
Isaac had wild splashes all over the shorts he was wearing; front and back. They weren't his best shorts. But, they were his only clean shorts. The rest of his clothes were wet and tumbling in the dryer. Which, was a problem because today he had a field trip and the clock on the wall was pointing out that he had to leave in 11 minutes. His mood was a more serious victim of the bleach spill than his shorts. My 13 year old sank down at the kitchen table, with bleach designs burned into his khaki field trip shorts. He smelled like a wading pool, and was generally stunned and immobilized. He was staring at me like an angry cat. We still had to make a sack lunch.
He did get to school on time for the field trip (his friends asked why he smelled like bleach). When the front door shut behind him, the spill affects stayed. Our house still smelled like a public pool. And initially there were residual emotional fumes hanging around. I had a lingering cloud of panic, irritation, and "angry cat" following me around. I finished mopping up and held up my freshly splashed jeans to examine the damage. And that got me thinking.

Today I saw a spill of bleach and mood. Moods and words can set a reaction in motion the same as chemicals in a bleach spill. They are both about relationship -- interaction between two things, or people. So, what if a rotten mood could splash all over anybody near us, like bleach? This is a disturbing thought -- mood stains on people. I mean really. What if?

It took me a while to rinse mine off this morning. So, that leads me to today's spill question.
A little food for thought, or bleach for cleaning:

If your words and mood could visibly splash on the people around you, would you leave a positive impact, or negative stain?


5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hate, hate, hate the final question. Hate it. I've recently been pondering how I don't get to behave based on how I feel...I don't feel like washing the dishes, I don't feel like going to Bible Study, I don't feel like cooking dinner...And now you tell me that how I feel leaves a mark on everyone I'm around. Hate that. My pondering has taken on a new twist now. May we listen and hear and morph.

On the flip side, I LOVE the bleached jeans! I used to bleach jeans ON PURPOSE just so I could be a little different from the average human in jeans.

-adina

Kleigh said...

Adina. This I know: Even if you didn't bleach jeans on purpose, you would still be very different from the average person in jeans. It's true.

I kind of hate the final question, too. You're right. It makes the inside matter.
So ... onward toward the morph!

Kleigh

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the insight.....as I was driving home tonight I thought about how my reaction to the news that my husband was out of a job again would affect all the people in my life!
It matters!
I want to cry and be sad...but more I want to have HOPE!
I have to focus on the fundamental belief that their is a biigger plan that I don't undrrstand..

Laura said...

loved this post. what a funny storyteller you are and what a haunting question you leave us with. brilliant, friend.

Kleigh said...

To my anonymous friend, I hope your husband finds a new job soon. And, that you are able to access great peace and hope about this new path you are on.
Press On friend. Thanks so much for your comment. You speak for many.

~Kleigh