As moms we are used to making sacrifices. Some of them are simple, some of them are just a bit harder and, frankly, some are just completely unexpected.
I’ll be the first to admit this. I’m a pretty darn “girly” mom. Now, before anyone out there takes offense, I’m just admitting who I am and absolutely not criticizing anyone else. I like girl clothes, I like to have my hair and makeup done, and pedicures are my friend. Now, I’m not opposed to getting dirty, but it’s really not my favorite thing to do.
I can’t deny that being the mom of a boy has been a bit of an experience. In my own strange way I’ve come to appreciate things that I never thought I would be able to face.
Immediately things like the “Discovery Room” at the zoo come to mind. Yes, years ago, I held a corn snake just because I didn’t want to disappoint my son, the nature enthusiast. Little did he know that, once when I was a young woman, I spent half an hour locked in my car too afraid to step past the garter snake that was sunning itself on my driveway.
Two years ago I even gave into the constant begging and opened our home to a family of hermit crabs. Today, as I write this article, I am sharing my office space with a tank housing Dustin, Tek, Papi and Pedro the hermits. For the most part they are fairly quiet residents but, occasionally, if I look to my left, I swear that I catch them watching me work.
I’ve come to consider myself pretty brave but, alas, I can’t hold a candle to a good friend who truly proves what it means to be a courageous mom. Not long ago she made a proposition that she hoped would keep her two boys from bickering with each other.
The deal was a simple one. No fighting for a month and they would be allowed to have a pet tarantula. I think I can honestly remember the exact feeling of horror as I recall hearing this for the first time. She never expected a month of peace and, frankly, never truly expected to have to make good on her promise.
Amazingly, the promise of a very large, hairy arachnid did the trick and, as if by miracle, a new state of peace ensued. A month went by and, off they went to the pet store. As incredible as it sounds to me, everything seemed to go well. Fluffy had a new home and the boys were proud of their accomplishment. Even mom was feeling brave. Well, that was until this morning.
As luck would have it Fluffy chose this morning to make a break for it and one very frieked out mom was faced with knowing that the pet tarantula her boys had worked so hard to earn was now on the loose. Her Facebook status basically said it all. “FLUFFY GOT OUT OF HER TANK!!!!!!!!!!!! WHO DO I CALL TO FIND IT!!??”
I thought my answer summed it up pretty well with a simple, “NOT ME!” There were countless other suggestions of “The Exterminator” along with a
number of ideas about leaving home and never coming back. Neither, of course, was a suitable “mom” option and instead the “hunt for fluffy” was underway.
I have to give credit to the mom who, in spite of her fear, chose to execute a search and rescue mission. At one point she even had another, very dedicated, mom friend searching along with her. Eventually it was, however, Dad who found Fluffy.
Honestly it is an almost amazing sense of responsibility and courage that goes hand in hand with being a parent. Suddenly the things that scare us the most seem surmountable and being a role model becomes more important than being a wimp. Parenting isn’t for the faint of heart and these are the stories that just remind us all of how very hard it can be.
As a mom I no longer cower in my car at the thought of a wayward snake and, frankly, take pride in being ready for almost anything.
I do, however, draw the line at tarantulas.