An excerpt from an essay written last month...
I was running around upstairs after work today picking up toys, making beds, hanging up clothes, gathering all the dirty cups. I am slightly embarrassed to admit that only one of the dirty cups belonged to Matthew; the rest are all mine. I carry coffee cups upstairs to work or get dressed and then I leave them there, usually full of cold coffee. One of the cups appeared to be growing something white on the top. My very own science experiment. Sadly, I never get to the end of this experiment - I just keep starting over with each new mug I carry up the stairs.
Every other Wednesday the mad dash around the upstairs picking our lives up off the floor takes on a bigger meaning as we need to get the house ready to be cleaned the next day. It is a little odd to be cleaning the house in order to clean the house, but this is what we do. I know we are not alone- on any given evening there are busy mother's running around picking up toys and dirty underwear so that the people who clean our houses do not judge us. Or at least not for that. I mean, these people do have full access to our homes and wouldn't you peak into a medicine cabinet every so often?
I had finished the picking up in our room and decided to completely give up on the office when I walked into my son's room. His room is usually not too bad, so I can be in and out in two minutes. My mind was on dinner and I was trying to do dinner math in my head while I made the bed. You know - the estimated arrival time of my husband and son minus how long it takes to grill the steak and chop the veggies for the fajitas, convert the minutes to real time and viola you've got your dinner start time. So I really wasn't paying attention. And then I look down and see it. A dark black furry something is sticking out from under the pillow. I panic and step back, tripping over a baseball bat on the floor, which sends me into the dresser. I manage to not fall but I am sure that Stewart, Matthew's fish, who, by the way, lives on the dresser, was completely freaked out. I right myself and slowly walk back over to the bed. Logically I know that this must be a toy. There is no way that some furry critter has gotten into our house and found his way into my son's bed. I can see the cat sitting in the doorway, so I know he is not the culprit. And now I am thinking that if it is a furry creature of some sort our cat is worthless.
I begin to do a mental inventory of all of Matthew's stuffed animals. Nothing fits the description of what I am clearly looking at. I gingerly grab the corner of the pillow and slowly pull it towards me, half expecting the owner of the furry tail to scurry forward. I am fully prepared to run.
After what seems like forever the pillow is on the floor and I see that the furry black tail belongs to a small horse I just brought back last week from Kentucky. I exhale and start breathing again. Another crisis averted.