Wives of husbands who travel can attest to the truth in the cliche that when the cat’s away the mice will play. Those mice take on many forms: emotional stability, technical and mechanical difficulties, and unexpected people issues, to name a few.
One Thursday morning while DaRonn traveled earlier this month a mouse came to play. This mouse happened to be a literal one, not simply a figurative one. Although, as is the case most times, this mouse was not alone. It did, indeed, bring with it many figurative friends.
My children often feel the urge to speak to me while I am in the bathroom. After 15 years in this gig you’d think I’d have gotten used to it. No. I roll my eyes and sigh every time. I heard the yelp in the other room. I heard the trample of feet coming my direction. I braced myself for the impeding vociferous conversation through the walls. The breathless cries from my almost 12-year-old reached my cringing ears.
“Mama. Mama.” said Gabrielle.
“What?” I said.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to do it.”
“What did you do?”
“It’s dead. I was just standing there. Then I saw it jump off of the dresser. I was moving to get out of the way. I think I stepped on it. There’s blood.”
In the morning rush of trying to get five kids to the bus on time one calculates the careful use of ones minutes. Already annoyed because of the interruption to the minutes I have allotted to my personal bathroom time I didn’t feel up to dealing with a hysterical pre-teen and blood.
“What’s dead?” I said.
I opened the door to a few stunned faces.
“The mouse,” she said.
Creeping back to her room she hunched at the door and pointed. I saw it. Thank God for Bolivian tile flooring. The pool of blood around the gray, furry body looked like a mini mouse crime scene. Thank God for clunky Nike shoes. Can you imagine a misstep like that bare foot?
My Gabrielle loves animals. She wants to be an animal rescuer when she grows up. Yet, this same mouse had terrorized her just that same week and chased her around a small, enclosed space. Then she became the one to put a dramatic finish to the life of her antagonist. Oh the irony.
That Thursday morning served as an omen to the crazy weekend we had ahead of us. I threw a slumber party for Gabrielle’s Golden birthday. I was caring for a two-year-old girl while her parents were out of town. I preached Sunday morning. And I got a call to pick up the refrigerator two weeks earlier than we expected because the people we bought it from had to move sooner than they thought.
What a weekend! Thanks to some helping hands from friends, I survived.
The mouse did not.
That’s my daughter in the middle of all her friends who came for the party. She is wearing the red Angry Birds t-shirt and the killer Nikes.