I’m not sure if you’ve heard lately, but adulting is hard. I mean really, it gets taken to a whole new level when you own a house.
This past weekend my super handy husband decided to put in a French drain (this is his 3rd try, but I promise I wasn’t lying when I said he’s super handy).
I bet right now you’re wondering what kind of fancy spa-like bathroom I have that needs a French drain, right? Visions of jetted tubs, granite countertops, and maybe even a bidet go dancing through my head every time I hear the words “French drain”…….OK, my imaginary bathroom does not have a bidet, that seems totally impractical and ironically a little unsanitary to me.
But really, what you should be envisioning is this:
Tada! I know, exciting right? Its a grate. But no Laura (I have to remind myself), its so much more than that. It’s a drainage system. That makes it sound more exciting.
And here’s our history lesson of the day, a French drain is not French at all. Its named after Henry Flagg French of Massachusetts, America! I never would have know this if not for two things: I’m an adult and I own a house. Does anybody else miss being 22?
Anyways, here’s the story. We moved into our lovely rambler two years ago. We knew it came with an AstroTurf back yard (story for another time) but had no idea we were getting a swimming pool too….until the first time that it rained. Our driveway has a legitimate toddler sized swimming pool after every heavy rain, which means about 5-6 days a week. The pool is closed on the weekends if we’re lucky.
To top it all off, the pool/puddle sits right next to our driveway where the most beautiful flagstone path leads to our front door. This also happens to be the side of the driveway where I park and since I leave for work at 0’dark thirty, I usually step in the puddle right before I climb into my truck. I have a pile of 83 sopping wet socks in the back seat to prove it.
I think that Danny has begun to see the puddle as a personal assault on his handyman capabilities. He scowls at it, his mom sends him texts with pictures of the “swimming pool” telling him to do something about it, and I just keep walking right through the middle it. It’s possible that my cold wet feet were keeping him awake at night.
So, this last weekend, Danny went at it. I came home from work on Saturday and found a huge, black monstrosity of a tube in my daughter’s newly decorated bedroom (it always feels like as soon as I finish one room, a black tube/piece of equipment/boxes of junk show up in the middle of it), along with some sort of sleeve-ish sock thing that is supposed to go around the tube and a grey plastic grate. I’ll be honest, my first thought was that my beautiful flagstone walkway was going to be replaced by a grey, plastic rectangle, and I wanted to tell Danny that I was totally ok with cold, wet feet for the rest of my life. But, he seemed so excited and there were tubes and gravel and metal spikes all over the house already, so I let this one go. I’m trying to be a good wife/person/partner like that.
A few hours, 2 trips to Home Depot and an energy drink later, Danny called me outside to look.
My super cute, handy as heck husband had installed the French drain AND cut up the flagstone into smaller pieces to surround it. It looks totally great! That’s when I told him to crouch down and give me the thumb’s up so I could take a picture of our new drain, because when you’re an adult, you do things like that……and, because I’m proud of him. It was one of those weird moments where I looked at him and saw that young twenty-something that I fell in love with and then blinked and he was a 35, a dad, and a total stud for knowing all about French drains. Funny how life changes you.
We stared at if for five minutes and then…………………………….. I went inside and looked at all the receipts on my counter. Apparently big black tubes, metal spikes and socky-sleeve-tube-wrap things are expensive. My mind quickly did the calculations and I realized that what in the past might have been the most beautiful vintage-inspired dress from Anthropologie has now turned into a drainage system for my driveway. I cried a little. But I tried to hide it, because I’m an adult. And even though adulting is hard, remember, I’m trying to be better at it.
…another project checked off the list.