Today was the last full length day of school. The next 3 days are 1/2 days in which there is very little time to accomplish much of my pre-summer errands list. Today was IT.
And then Ethan-12yr and Seth-6yr fell apart and were sick and couldn’t possibly go to school (they really couldn’t) and my sick stuff got worse and let’s not discuss that.
The point is. The day’s plans got all shot to hell.
I stayed in bed all morning with a cat and two listless, lifeless boy children wandered through the house, too tired to even annoy each other. Then Seth-6yr walked out to the backyard, came back in, slammed the door, burst into tears, buried his face in my stomach, and said he’d seen a snake. “A REAL ONE!”
Well, yes. I figured.
Seth-6yr isn’t a burst into tears, bury his head in my stomach sort of kid. But he was up all night, and now home sick, and it WAS a real snake, so it all made sense.
Ethan-12yr dutifully went and put on tall boots and the boys dressed for Snake Slaying. I took pictures. Ethan-12yr selected a long extension stick thing from the garage, whose real purpose I can’t remember right now.
Then they went out. Two determined, and oddly dressed snake hunters. Suddenly, energized.
There had been discussion of what the snake looked like. But that was only for identification purposes, not so that a determination could be made whether the snake WOULD die. I’m sorry, but we’re not like that. I don’t care if some snakes are good. If it’s a SNAKE, and it is BY MY BACK DOOR – then that snake is therefore a very BAD snake and it shall die. I don’t have to look it up on google to see what it eats. NOTHING is worse than the snake, so it doesn’t MATTER. I’d rather have giant rats in tutus than snakes. EASY CHOICE.
I have been an extremely overprotective mother for a very long time. I have shielded them from all kinds of threats, real and imagined, their entire lives. But when there is a snake, or a spider, the tables turn and I GLADLY send out my precious babies to defend the homefront, and also me. Seth-6yr stopped crying and WANTED to go. In case that wasn’t clear. I didn’t toss them out and lock the door behind them. (thankfully that wasn’t necessary.)
I was making lunch and checking their progress periodically by looking out the window. I saw the snake and started jumping and screaming and Ethan-12yr rolled his eyes and calmly made the hand motion a conductor makes when calling for silence at the end of a song.
And that was annoying.
Then he opened the door and LEFT IT OPEN while he conferred with me about something and I could just hop and sputter and finally shout at him to SHUT THE DOOR BEFORE THE SNAKE RUNS IN THE HOUSE, CHILD.
Because that’s a WHOLE other set of problems we don’t want.
Somewhere in there, I burned the quesadillas.
Ethan-12yr rolled his eyes, stepped in the door, shut it behind him, and said, “Mom. If the snake comes in the house… it will SLITHER. It will not RUN.”
And THAT was annoying.
But funny. I didn’t want to discuss it further when the snake was still out there, alive, and maybe escaping by whatever verb appropriate means it chose.
They hadn’t slayed the snake before lunch was ready. So I told them they could eat at the outside table in order to supervise the snake’s activities.
That sounded better than, “there will be no food until you kill it.”
All were on board with this plan. And halfway through their lunch, they killed the snake. I put on shoes and stayed away from the windows because I didn’t want to distract Ethan-12yr with my screaming, and I couldn’t watch and NOT scream.
I gave them bags and they took the body to the dumpster. And then washed hands very well with soap. Then we debriefed about the entire adventure and I asked Seth-6yr about his transformation from crying and freaking to brave snake killer. He said he had his big brother with him.
It was just so sweet. (Also, I’m sick and I was up all night.)
And now I’m going to try not to think about snakes. Or if there are others. Right out there. By the back door. All 3 feet long and stripe-y and scary and ready to come inside.