Surviving a Weekend of Flooding Rain and Cabin Fever in Naperville

Dear Sump Pump,

While I have often taken you for granted in the past, I would like to personally thank you for the non-stop trench warfare you have waged this weekend against the relentless evil waters which unleashed their liquid fury upon us all. 

I realize you live a life of darkened isolation deep within the basement pit where you reside, but this weekend you rose from rock-bottom dweller to A-list celebrity hero as you continuosly expunged those sinister legions of water molecules from your humble basement dwelling to keep us all dry. 

On behalf of the drywall, carpet, assorted furnishings, devoted mechanical devices, air hockey table, Xbox 360, voluminous toys, guest bedroom, large screen TV and your two biggest fans under the age of 8, we thank you for your service.  Enjoy your days off this week as dry sunny weather returns to Naperville.

Dryest Regards,

Stuart, Shelby, Jake and Ben

To everyone else out there, my hope and prayers are with you that you and your family survived the flooding rains of this past weekend.  It was certainly a rough ride for us all, though considering what the the gulf coast of Texas experienced at the hands of Hurricane Ike’s wrath, it’s tough to feel too bad about any misforutne we may have experiences.  Nonetheless, I think we are all looking toward sunnier days ahead this week.

If you were like my family, you probably found yourself sticking close to home as the waters rose and perhaps contracting a slight case of cabin fever.  If you have young children, like we do, the pressue was a little more intense.  However, sometimes when push comes to shove and you lose control of your life’s routine, it’s time to create those exceptionally unexpected games for the kids which will delight them for hours.

For our boys, much today was consumed by a new game we created called Paper Airplane Roulette.  Before I explain the game, I think the pictures below will give you a hint:

I started by teaching both boys to model the standard paper airplne from their favorite colored piece of construction paper.  The game began innocently enough.  Our family room as a two-story ceiling with a large ceiling fan lofting overhead.  We also have a second story loft hallway which provides runway variation. 

At first, the goal was to see how far we could throw our paper airplanes.  Then we decided to see who could successfully launch their pulpy aviation wonders over the destructive spinning blades of the whipping ceiling fan.  We all began nervously as we didn’t want to see our aircraft meet such a fate from the indifferent propellers.  

The first plane was launched from the sweaty grasp of my seven year-old and though it appeared to have the right lofting rainbow-like trajectory, the velocity of the fuselage experienced a sudden and unexpected drag from the conflicting jet streams swirling above.  The plane slowed… the nose tipped… and the aircraft quickly made the short descent into the vortex of rip current air whose turbulence jostled the plane for a moment only to be catapulted violently by the swift unaware blow of multiple fan blades.  My boys and I quickly looked to each other with a momentarily speechless stare and then suddenly broke into uncontrollable laughter at our discovery.

The plane survived and the remainder of the day was filled with countless sorties and assorted launch variations from multiple trajectories.  The boys even persuaded their grandmother to join in the fun and though I was not allowed to take a picture, I can report that Grandy launched many times after her first taste of harmlessly violent destruction.

Now parents, by now you may be thinking that I am setting a bad example.  However, bear in mind it’s just paper, we had a long conversation about the many other objects which should never be thrown into the fan and nothing was damaged.  Sometimes, desperate measures call for improvisational fun.  I think we all created a long-lasting memory today and were able to forget about the heavy rains outside.  SM


One response to “Surviving a Weekend of Flooding Rain and Cabin Fever in Naperville

  1. Ha! Love the Dear Sump Pump letter, but cracked up over the paper airplane game. This sounds like something I would have done. We *did* launch many a paper airplane from the 32nd floor at JR’s Air & Water Show party — did I show you that picture?

    Looking forward to getting together again soon. Glad you & yours stayed high and dry.

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