Many years ago I used to get a monthly newsletter from Dr. James Dobson. One month he shared a story about a young woman who had a problem with a mouse in her house. She set a trap and finally caught it but unfortunately, this was a true trap. The kind that caught the mouse in a little cage. The kind that allowed the mouse to live.
The young lady freaked out. The trap had done it’s job but now it was up to her to kill the mouse and she couldn’t do it. It was too horrible. She also needed to go to work and she just couldn’t deal. So she devised a way of putting the mouse down without having to touch it or cause bloodshed - she drowned it. She submerged the cage in a bucket of water and high-tailed it out of the house for work, knowing when she came home the deed would be done.
When she arrived home some 9 or 10 hours later, expecting to find a dead, drowned mouse, she found something else - the mouse was still alive.
He had climbed up as far as he could and - reaching, straining, up on his toes - managed to find a way to get the very tip of his nose above water to keep from drowning. For 9 or 10 hours this tiny mouse stood on aching toes with just barely the height to breathe through his nose.
I feel like the mouse.
There is so much stuff swimming in my brain, so many items on my to-do list that I feel like I am up on aching toes, reaching and straining to stay alive because if I relax for just a couple of minutes I’ll go under and never come up.
Yesterday I found myself standing over my kitchen sink, hands shaking, stomach churning, mind racing.
Why, you ask? Because there were dirty dishes in the sink. And the floor needed to be mopped. Our cat was alternately whining for food and chewing the fur off of his legs, belly, arms - anywhere he can reach - because he’s allergic to fleas and I needed to give him medicine.
I looked out the kitchen window to my formerly beautiful dahlias that I haven’t dead-headed in a month and which have been attacked by spider mites no matter how much poison I spray on them. Then my racing mind skipped over to the garden where I think there are beans going to seed but since I haven’t actually looked at the garden in a couple of weeks that may or may not be true.
Then I glanced down at the patio which was currently displaying one of the cat’s most recent trophies - a mixture of bunny fur and guts. There was also a dead mouse in the mix.
There was a sick kid upstairs. I needed to go grocery shopping. I was 3 days behind with Bible study. I hadn’t blogged in almost a month. I’ve put on weight, homework projects were piling up on the kitchen table and don’t even get me started on the laundry. I had one load mildewing in the washer and the dryer was on it’s 3rd fluff cycle because I couldn’t get around to folding the clothes.
Then, as so often happens when I’m simultaneously having a pity-party AND a brain meltdown I made an honest-to-God scientific discovery. I’m surprised the rocket scientists out there don’t know this because it. is. seriously. genius.
Here is my discovery - ready?
Laundry, if you give it enough privacy and space will spontaneously turn into it’s own life form and start regenerating. It will multiply. It’s like all the dirty clothes, hanging out there in the dark, start getting ideas. They look at each other and say, “Hey baby, how you doin’?” and then they start making babies. The problem is they only make socks that don’t match.
You’d think, if dirty laundry is going to be allowed to have sex, it would be considerate enough to have identical twins in socks.
I think my brain just exploded.