One of the amazing things about being a parent, is that at times it makes you so much more than you ever thought you could be.
Just when you think you have loved and are loved as much as you possibly could be, you find the capacity for a little bit more. Just when you're sure you are completely out of patience, you take a deep breath and -- voila! -- there's just a little bit more.
Just when you think you've surpassed your squeemish and frightened level, you look at those little faces, and you suck it up and press on! And that is the point of my blogging tonight. I am quite chuffed with the way that I handled nature's little intrusion into our lives yesterday.
There I was, up to my elbows in peeled potatoes, when the little Princess called to her brother. "Come quick! I have something to show you!"
I was curious, but also relieved to think the small fry would be kept occupied until dinner was in the oven.
The little Prince came in with an update. "Gabby found half a snake in the door!"
To me, half a snake means a dead snake, which is twice as good as a live snake. But, I decided I should check this out for myself, so as to avoid having traumatized children later on.
The first report, as it so often occurs, was innacurate.
The snake half Max saw was still very much connected to the other half, and the whole thing was trying to wriggle itself out of the crack between the front and top of the threashold to the front door. While Max was retrieving me, Gabby had charmed the snake into a little mesh bug cage.
If the snake held still and could be stretched out, it would have probably been about the size of a new pencil. In fact, at first I thought it was an overgrown earthworm. But when it comes to snakes and me, size doesn't matter. All it had to do was move in that snakey way, all coily and springy, and icky, and my eeeewwww button was pushed.
The kids looked at me, eyes filled with wonder, surprise and excitement. This was adventure! Right on their doorstep! I reached deep inside myself and stifled the desire to scream "Kill it! Kill it! Chop it to bits!"
Instead we talked about why it was flicking its tongue out, how it had probably been sunning itself on the doorstep (Kill it!), and how it was probably afraid of us (Kill it!) and how we should put the cage down and not poke at it (Chop it to bits!).
We decided they could keep it (outside, duh) until Dad got home. Then they would all take it to the farthest reaches of the back yard to release it to the wild (where it will hopefully be eaten by a bird or chopped into bits by a lawn mower).
Then I went inside and did a heebie-jeebie dance like you would not believe. But as I danced, I hoped that my Marlin Perkins-esque brave front would rub off on my children and they would not be as creeped out by snakes as I am.
Because of them, I can be (if only for a moment) far more brave than I would have ever imagined.