Yesterday Nigel accidentally spilled water on the keyboard of the computer that he and Aidan share. It did not go over well, and Nigel’s self-beratement matched Aidan’s exasperation. Fortunately, I had a spare keyboard in the closet, leftover from when I got my new computer last year and had opted to use my cordless ergonomic keyboard. But the spare keyboard needed the newer USB port, which the kids’ six-year-old computer did not have, so it wouldn’t work. 

Voila! I found an adapter! I plugged the USB cable into the adapter and put the adapter into the old, round keyboard plug on the back of their computer. Still nothing! The adapter turned out to be for the mouse port!! Then I thought to look at my old corded ergonomic keyboard, and it had the right plug – the old round kind! I plugged it in, feeling premature triumph, and then . . . nothing! I’m guessing that their brand of computer, Microtel, is not compatible with Microsoft accessories. Who could have guessed that the two spare keyboards I bothered to save would not work at all when needed? What a wasted effort!

Meanwhile, Nigel had taken apart the old keyboard that he had spilled the water on (he asked me first if he could), and it was in about 95 pieces spread out all over the living room floor. I took a deep breath and went online to see if I could find any Microtel keyboards. I found one, but of course it was new, so it had a USB plug instead of the old round kind. So then I started looking for a whole new freaking computer, since we need a computer for homeschool work. Gah!!

In the midst of that, the boys’ father called, so I told him what happened, and he said that he had some high school buddy who refurbished old computers and that he’d give him a call. I decided to start making dinner, and once again yelled out to anyone within earshot that they are to never have food or drinks around the computer. Ever!

After dinner, Nigel matter-of-factly stated that the keyboard was completely dry and he had put it back together. I had thought that he was going to take it apart to play with the parts, but he had taken it apart to dry it out. Aidan matter-of-factly suggested that they try plugging it back in to see if it would work now that it was dry. I said, “Go ahead and try, but it probably won’t work.”

It worked. The damn thing actually worked.

Nigel said, matter-of-factly but with an unmistakable surge of self-esteem, “I used my resourcefulness.” He never ceases to amaze me. Here I thought I was being resourceful by saving the spare keyboards and trying the adapter and researching to find a replacement. I had just assumed that the keyboard would no longer work.  Sometimes I just need to be reminded to fix what is broken. That should be the first step in being resourceful. That and not making any assumptions – about things or people, and what they’re capable of accomplishing.