– 9:00 A.M.
Kyle has to wake Todd and tell him what has happened. Meanwhile, I’ve drawn up a quick contract in Grandma’s Holiday recipe book in the kitchen. (It was the only thing on the counter!) It says that Todd has urinated in Estizer Smith’s dryer on blah blah date, at blah blah time, on blah blah street. It states that Todd is fully responsible for repair OR replacement of said dryer, if needed, to be determined by ME, Estizer Smith. It is to be signed by Todd, with not only his address and phone number, but that of his parents, as well. I know he’s an adult, but parents still carry a lot of weight!
The other two are up now and come into the kitchen as if to leave, but I ask them to stay. I want witnesses outside of the family that Todd understands my contract. Kyle pulls a chair up in front of the sofa where Todd is sitting. The family room is dim; they’re sitting knee to knee. Kyle is speaking in a low voice.
Todd drops his head into his hands. He can’t believe it.
When they walk into the kitchen together, it’s actually the first time I’ve seen Todd. He looks younger than the others, and very sweet. When Kyle introduces us, Todd looks me right in the eye.
Todd: “I’m so, so sorry. I don’t know how this happened but, I am really so sorry that I did this.”
Me: “Okay, Todd.”
Todd: “I’m soo, sorry. Really!”
Me: “Okay Todd, I believe you. I do. It’s o.k. But, this is important to me. I want you to read this contract and be sure that you understand it before you sign it.”
Todd: “I totally understand it and it’s all my responsibility. Um, is there any way my parents can… um, NOT know about this?”
Me: “Todd, the most important thing here is that no one was hurt. This was just my dryer but, Todd, you were soo unaware of what you were doing — can you imagine if you had been driving? You would have been very dangerous. This could have been so much worse. You could have died, other people could have died. This could have been our worse nightmare come to life. Luckily for you, and a lot of other people on the road, you’ve got really good friends who stopped you and brought you here! What if you had gone to pee in my washer instead and the top closed on you… OUCH!” (Shit, did I just giggle? I’m trying my best to hold it together here, but the kid just peed in my dryer and it’s hilarious. He’s so pitiful, he thinks it’s the end of the world, and it’s not! Ok, ok, be stern!)
Me: (with my straightest school teacher/mom face) “Todd, NEVER again, right?”
Todd: “Absolutely not! No — not ever!”
Silence. Point made.
Kids leaving together, call out in unison: “So sorry we had to meet under these circumstances, Mrs. Smith.”
Me: “Oh, it’s okay, you can come back…anytime! As a matter of fact, (giggling full blown now but trying to cover with a piece of paper), you can come ThanksGIVING! “
(Turning to look at the perpetrator and still giggling)
Me: “Hey, Todd! The Bounce was a nice touch!!”