My house has been bugged.
It all started last weekend. The weather was lovely. Not too hot, not too cold. The hubby was working diligently in the garage with our eldest as first assist while LT and I drew chalk pictures on the driveway. It was perfect.
Obviously this scene of domestic bliss had to be interrupted. A man with a clipboard walked up to inform us that his company was in the area actively treating homes such as ours for any number of pests. I sent the door to door salesman on his way, saying “I don’t mind the occasional bug.”
And that’s where I went wrong. I should have learned by now to never, ever offer up an invitation to Mother Nature (she has quite the sense of humor). Either that or the salesman possessed mind powers and a suit in his van similar to the one Marvel will show in Ant-Man. In any case, as we were readying the boys for bed I noticed a large brown spot in the corner of a wall where hallway meets ceiling. The spot then moved.
Bleah! The hubby was promptly summoned to get rid of the creature while I continued with the bedtime routine (I am all for making sacrifices). My eldest saw the action and called out, “don’t kill it!” He wanted to add the little vermin to his collection. A collection of bugs I might add he has because of lovely person he refers to as his Nai Nai, his other maternal grandmother, and my stepmom.
Popular culture will often portray stepmothers as wicked creatures determined to insert a wedge between children of a prior union and the children’s father. They have a beauty that is only skin deep. Self-serving, often jealous, and never ever to be trusted, they are the perfect villains in children’s stories (i.e. Snow White, Cinderella, Hansel & Gretel – depending on what version you read, etc.) Some of my dad’s girlfriends (from my perspective as a child) could have easily fallen into that category had the relationship grown more serious. But luckily, my dad eventually met a woman who understood that there was still a “mom” in the word stepmom.
It couldn’t have been easy for her, marrying into our family. We were three young girls with one awesome mom already. Our things were stored in dad’s house long before any of hers were (even if we only played with them on the weekends), but somehow she managed to find a place. Not by trying to replace our mom, or by trying to be our friend (we were too young for that), but by choosing to act like a parent who just happened to miss the early years (no 3am feedings or dirty diapers – darn! why didn’t I think of that?)
She has loved my boys (and my nieces and nephews) since the day they were born. As far as they are concerned, there is no ‘step’ in their family. She is just another limb on their family tree. She has also spoiled them as much as any other grandparent might. One of these gifts is a clear plastic box designed to collect and store bugs. It’s the kind of gift that makes me, as a parent, question what I did as a child to deserve such ‘generosity.’ My son, on the other hand, thinks it is fantastic and has since set out to fill it with whatever he can find in the yard (or, in this case, hallway). Thus far, we have been blessed with pet stink bugs, snails, and centipedes (the horror!) I might see a box of creepy crawlies, but he sees them as new friends, all thanks to his Nai Nai.
The hallway bug in this story ‘got away’ (to a beautiful porcelain home complete with indoor plumbing) and won’t be joining the ‘family’ anytime soon (so sad), but my stepmom has shown my sons that when you let it, love can find a way no matter its origin.
Happy Mother’s Day