You know, I thought I had escaped this part of my son’s childhood. When other mothers of sons would relate stories like this to me, I just nodded and smiled with nothing to add. See, we lived on 50 acres and that’s more than enough for a boy to wander around and commune with the wildlife. Add to that the fact we had around 20 chickens, two dogs, the occasional cat, a small pond and a whole herd of cattle that lived across the road, then you can realize why this oft-uttered phrase never really once passed Addison’s lips.
Until earlier this week.
Oh, I knew something was up. He had this look on his face when he is about to tell me something he knows I’m not going to like. Plus he gets extra loving.
“Something interesting happened on the walk home from work, right by the car dealership,” My heart dropped in my chest. Honestly, I expected some sort of traffic accident, but he went on to tell me (aside from how much he loved me) how he saw something small, grey and flailing around in the snowbank. So he picked it up, carefully placed it in his backpack, and brought it home.
It’s a mole.
The first words I said (and honestly, I didn’t really need to speak for him to know what I thought) was, “You had better find an awfully high-sided container to put him in.” Since he is a rather small wiggly mole, and you can’t really lug him around while you hunt for things, Addison placed him in a small fishtank we had that just happened to be very close by in the laundry room.
Then we discovered moles can jump.
After much irritation on my part, and a very valid, “But I couldn’t let him freeze out there! It’s twenty five below! You wouldn’t want him to DIE would you?” from Addison, we found a large plastic container, the kind used to store large household things, and I made sure it had really high sides.
Unfortunately, it has no lid. Which was okay for a while, until Addison thoughtfully gave Mole an old crumpled bedsheet to burrow in. We.. er, I mean Addison, because I am NOT touching it, also discovered that trying to hold onto a mole is like trying to hold onto one of those joke sausages that you can buy, all filled with water that constantly slips out of your hands.
Why yes, he did discover this right before he had to leave for work. Mole had the pleasure of exploring the entire upstairs on his own while I spent the entire day downstairs wondering the kind of things that might happen when Addison lives on his own.
It made for a scary day.
While my skin was crawling, the girls were each (to my utter dismay and horror) exclaiming how “cute” Mole was while they were setting safe traps, looking for him and leaving him bits of raw bacon to nibble. He really likes bacon.
Which was all well and good, until around suppertime.
Dinner was almost finished, I was about to call Ron on the phone and suddenly the previously brave Sarah yelled, “OHMYGOD HE GOT DOWNSTAIRS!” as he sashayed in front of her feet to hide under the refrigerator. What happened next is kind of fuzzy for me, given the thought of rodents falling from the sky makes me lightheaded. I do remember a lot of squealing and screaming, not just from me, a call from Ron who assured me that I did, in fact, have to “be the bigger person”, and also trying to convince me that *I* was the adult in charge, me explaining that this was one of the reasons I married him, Emma completely unconcerned in the living room, and the girls arguing over who should pick him up, when we could corner him and with what. Plus the timer going off and the potatoes boiling over.
Somewhere in there, I scalded my behind.
I kid you not. I hopped up onto the counter to get away from the menacing, terrifying mole wiggling blindly towards me, and I backed right into a freshly made mug of herbal tea. I finally managed to calm myself, donned Ron’s huge high winter boots for protection, and together us girls (well, mostly Meaghan) managed to hold a box over him. We (okay, Sarah) transferred him into a tall plastic cereal container with a lid, then we (I mean Sarah) set him back in his lair.
Addison got quite an earfull when he wandered home twenty minutes later. I made him dish out his own darn supper. Later, I was settled down in bed at a decent hour for a change. Emma was out like a light, Addison was in his room and the girls were getting ready for bed. The comfortable sleepy silence was broken by an ear-splitting, “WHAT THE?? THAT’S JUST CRAZY!” coming from Addison’s room.
Mole had gone for a stroll again.
Sarah came to comfort me in my bed, because I was not leaving it. Eventually, and a lot faster than earlier that day, Mole was found in the hall closet. It was determined that the crumpled bedsheet made a nice stairway out. Now mole just has dirt which Addison confiscated from some dead houseplants.
My heart has finally slowed down, but my hair, I’m sure, has a bit more grey in it.