Monday, August 8, 2011

Manic Monday: do you have time for a story?

Do you have time for a story?

My amazing friend asked me this question when I dropped by her house for just a few minutes yesterday morning. Of course, I did not really have the time. I made the time. Because Christina's stories are always worth the time.

Her question made me think how many days I rush through, even the really fun fabulous days of summer, without paying attention to the story it is telling me.

Other days, the story that needs to be told will not wait for me to finish writing my grocery list. It won't even wait for me to get dressed for the day. It demands to be told RIGHT NOW.

This is my first Manic Monday in many many weeks. Today was the day I was going to finally get to just a few things on my Manic list. I was on my back porch, drinking my coffee, still in my jammies, relishing one of the last long mornings of the season, when my daughter ran out to tell me that she needed my help. Her hamster, Lily, was missing.

Please note the picture above. See how there is a place for my daughter to play? An area of uncovered carpet. No. That space was not there this morning. Not a smidge of carpet in sight. Just a lot of dolls, stuffed animals, clothes, and tiny treasures for a cute chubby orange hamster to hide and crawl over and under for hours upon hours.

My son and I ran upstairs to help Avery. We locked ourselves in the bedroom, hoping to trap Lily in one space. Being the mother of the year that I am, I started to solve this problem by blaming my daughter for her messy room and her desire to have a hamster in the first place. Thankfully, I remembered my reading from More Language of Letting Go yesterday. Melody Beattie said that when we have problems, we often spend our energy on blaming ourselves and others for those problems instead of using the energy we have to solve the problem. (Thanks, Melody!) Because I was mad.

We all decided to work together to solve this problem. Which meant we had to clean up that room. We stayed focused, got all those toys off the floor. Once in a while we spied Lily's adorable face and all three of us humans, on our hands and knees, chased her all around the room. We cautiously moved furniture as not to crush that little beast. We tried to create barricades. She was unstoppable. Uncatchable.

After an hour and a half, we just had to leave the room. Avery thought to put Lily's cage on the floor and put some food all around it. With a hope and a prayer, we closed the door and went to Sam's to get some groceries.

The entire day, I had to live with the fact that there was a hamster running free in my house and there was nothing I could do but wait...wait for it to go back to it's house, wait for it to run into bed with me, wait for it to be dead in the toilet.

After HOURS of comforting a little girl who at 10 already suffers from all of the fear, pain and regret of a mom who failed her little one, I finally heard a glimmer of hope in Avery's voice as she called down to that she heard a noise in the back of her closet.

We tiptoed into her room, slowly and carefully pulling everything out of there. That little critter is so fast and squrimy. We could not catch her...but look where she caught herself:

Inside the candy claw machine. Seriously the best place anyone could be!

She threw quite a fit while we got her back into her actually cage, which included peeing all over me. She initially escaped because she has figured out how to use her little body to push up the side of the cage. We have now duct taped her cage closed. It is all so exhausting.

I really wanted to write a status update about our adventures with Lily today. But I didn't want to make my story as few words as possible. Would I have liked this story to fit into 140 charters or less? Yes. Yes, I would. But real stories aren't head lines. They are filled with blame and frustration, thrills and fears. They take hours and days and weeks and years to tell themselves. I want to make time for the stories my life has to tell.

And I want to hear your's too.