The day broke dark and foreboding, oppressive humidity slowing all metabolic processes to a torpid crawl. The apartment, having withstood a direct hit from Hurricane Robert over the inclement weekend, was a wreck. The boy was especially recalcitrant this morning, insisting on doing everything himself, which led to a less-than-optimal episode on the toilet.
Then there’s the crew of sewer workers that begins work each day at around 7am. They’ve been camped out in front of my apartment for the last week, rebuilding a partially collapsed sewer main, and they’re using a vehicle the size of a Winnebago that, when in operation, emits a steady, droning whine for hours at a time. Faced with the prospect of enduring the screeching Winnebago while either (A) sifting through the wreckage of my living room or (B) slogging through a tedious work assignment, I moped out the door in search of my morning coffee.
Then, an unlikely source of inspiration. I was slumping home with my cardboard cup when I saw one of the sewer workers, clad head to toe in a yellow rubber suit stained brown from the armpits down, preparing to descend into a shoulder-width hole in the street. He gave me a resigned little wave, and I arrived back home a little lighter than when I left.
Another great perk of parenting in the city—you’re constantly aware that there are shitty days, and there are shitty days.