Yesterday, I lost my stapler three times in two hours. Each time I found it in the same exact spot, five inches from my right hand, but not before the impulsive thought: “who the hell stole my stapler THIS time?” Of course I knew full well no one had been in my office all morning. It’s just my initial reaction to cast blame on something other than the true cause of what has me upset, which in the matter of the lost stapler: my failing eyesight.
Isn’t that what we sometimes do: place blame elsewhere for things we are fearful about/don’t understand or shortcomings we are in denial of?
Like poor peripheral vision.
Or bad decisions.
Bella discovered a dead mouse on our trail walk today. Her nose was in deep inhalation before I realized what she was so interested in. My intuitive response was to wipe her mouth and nose with my hand in a quick upward motion. Like many moms, I have held the super power of fearlessness for years, which has helped me to take potential deadly germs off my kids with one swipe of my magically immune hand. Simultaneously my other hand grabbed a stick to gently flick the little body off the trail next to a bunch of yellow flowers, a more dignified burial for little Stuart. This is something I would have done with one of my toddlers. Each would have been very interested in the dead mouse for varying reasons. I can picture them squatting down in that curious little kid pose, his or her chubby, pink cheeked face concentrating, filled with a mixture of respectful, silent awe for the lifeless furry body and this deep, intrinsic NEED to touch and poke at it. A couple of them would have undoubtedly tried to explore the little corpse with their mouths though I won’t name any names. But my toddlers are long gone, grown into five, giant man-boys and one beautiful queen of her own domain, my dog face wiping clearly a wistful remnant of my joyful but chaotic past as a superhero mom.
Bella’s face had a brief ‘WTF?’ look before she scampered off to find other yucky things to smell, leaving me looking at my hand that now had on it dog snot/slobber mixed potentially with dead mouse disease. And GAWD KNOWS anymore if my body is capable of staying healthy from shit. My walk was now tainted with fear and I didn’t know what to do with my hand so I just held it out, away from me while we walked the trail loop so I wouldn’t touch my face. People who saw me probably thought: “Is this crazy chick going to take a left hand turn or what?”
Here were my thoughts while I walked the trail with my turn signal blinking:
I feel really mad that I no longer have my super power.
THE MEDIA IS TO BLAME. They put all this damn fear into my head about dying or killing someone else from a virus that may or may not have a 98.9% recovery rate. So of COURSE I’m going to be scared about something even MORE worrisome like dead mouse disease harming me or worse, Bella.
Furthermore, it’s the government’s fault that the mouse is dead to begin with. I’ve heard that rats are going crazy in the big cities and EATING each other because there is no food in the dumpsters on account of the government shutting down all the restaurants.
NO WAIT. It’s the MEDIA’S fault that I even know this bullshit. The government and the media are clearly in cahoots trying to make me afraid of everything.
ACTUALLY it’s the media’s fault that my HUSBAND knows about the rats. He’s the one who told ME.
THIS IS ALL MY HUSBAND’s fault. He has always been jealous of my super powers.
That’s when the writer in me finally took the left turn, in a quirky trip back full circle to my superpower of fearlessness:
That little Stuart mouse clearly starved to death because he had morals and refused to be a cannibal like his rat cousins. What a wonderful creature to be so stoic and strong and disease free! Bella and I are BOTH going to be just fine regardless of whether or not the media, government or my husband gives reasons why we should be afraid. Rest in peace under the yellow daisies little Stuart!
In summary, as though this were some kind of logical dissertation:
First, do you see how silly it can be when we don’t take full responsibility for our own shortcomings, beliefs and decisions? You’re welcome for being a good example of this.
Second, clearly we need to stop wasting so much food if we want the rats to go away.
Finally, for what it’s worth, I made it the whole way home without once touching my face. And despite my renewed fearlessness, I made it a point to wash my hand before I touched my husband, who may or may not be vulnerable to dog slime. There’s no sense being reckless with my super power.