When I was a child, I used to go to this little daycare right there by the house I grew up in and where my parents still live in Georgetown. Directly across the street from us was a huge undeveloped field where all the neighborhood kids used to play and run free. Across the field sits a little house that served as the daycare where I spent many days at that time in my life. If you ask about specific recollections from that time period, I really couldn’t tell you much, as my childhood memories are almost nonexistent for some strange reason. I kind of remember the background and little bits and pieces, but nothing real specific with the exception of one dramatic summer afternoon. This would be a precursor of my life to come.
The schedule at the daycare was the same every single day. Like the day before, and the day before that, I ate lunch in the kitchen and then headed back for my afternoon nap. Of course, before I could do that, I had to get my blanket, because how in the world can you get to sleep without the security of a blankie, right? So I head up to the front area to the cubbyholes right there next to the front entrance. Mine is right at arm’s length. I don’t have to bend or stretch…I just reach in and grab my beloved blanket. As I back up to head to the nap room, something catches my eye. Right there, a mere inches from where I was just standing, there’s a huge black snake curled up in the cubby just below mine and he’s looking at me like “What? You got a problem?”. “No sir” I say. “Just headed back to take my nap.”
He just looks at me and sticks his tongue out.
Now I’m a child. A small child. I don’t think I was in Kindergarten yet, so I must have been 3 or 4. Even still, I know what a snake is and I am fully aware of the dangers of this evil creature. I remember thinking to myself “This is a daycare and there are a lot of kids here. I don’t believe a nasty snake has any business in this cubbyhole. I suppose I should let the grownups know before someone gets bit”. Slowly, I walk to the kitchen where the teachers are cleaning up and the rest of the kids are finishing their lunch. I don’t know how many kids are there. In my mind there are 30 or 40. In reality, it’s probably 5 or 10. I walk up to the teacher nearest to me and I simply say “There’s a snake in my cubbyhole”.
Her first reaction is fear. “There’s a what?!?!?”, followed by anger because she doesn’t believe me. “Don’t you EVER come in here with a story like that!”. Then finally concern as she suddenly sees the seriousness in my demeanor. Together, we walk back over to the front of the house and, low and behold, right there just like I saw a few minutes before, there’s a big fat snake sitting in a cubbyhole.
And just like that…panic erupts.
Kids are screaming at the top of their lungs, adults are trying to calm everyone down, and we are all suddenly in emergency mode. We’re being evacuated to the playground out back (which ironically sits right there next to the field where the snake originally came from), and the cops are on their way. You would think it was hostage standoff by the seriousness of the situation. I can’t tell you how many times I heard “I want my mommy”.
But it was just a snake. Not even a rattlesnake. The thing wasn’t going after anyone. He wasn’t gonna grow wings and start flying at people. He doesn’t even have legs to chase after anyone. He’s just sitting there doing nothing. I’m looking around at all the chaos and I’m like “Really? Is this serious enough for these kids to be crying? Why??” By this time animal control is there and they have the snake in their possession. The situation is under control and still, kids are hysterical. I almost had to laugh.
Throughout my life, I’ve always had this cool, relaxed, rarely fazed, laid back attitude where serious stuff doesn’t have much of an effect on me. Granted, I haven’t been in a whole lot of life and death situations (aside from the time my girlfriend and I were held by knife point in a Texas Tech dorm room, or the time that a child predator was following a friend and I home from middle school), but things don’t seem to matter to me. If I can deal with a snake sitting 6 inches in front of me at 4 years old, how hard do you think it is for me to deal with….say…a divorce? Not too difficult, my friends.
Many of you have shown some real concern for me and I really appreciate the kind words and support. That being said, you must understand who I am. I miss Shelley. She’s an absolute wonderful woman and the best wife any man could ever ask for. For me to walk away is absolutely insane, but this is my choice and I’m not all that upset about it. Why should I be? This is a new chapter in both of our lives. A time to explore new options, experience new things, and grow stronger as individuals. That’s cause for a celebration. I realize that I am probably one in a million who would dare say something so idiotic, but that’s just me. I’m the eternal optimist.
Or I really am insane…which may very well be the case.
*Before you ask, the answer is yes…I really did get held by knife point in a dorm room, and yes I was being prayed on by a sick man is a white van with the words “free candy” on the side. Maybe one night I’ll tell you all about it. Not thins night…I’m going to bed.
**OK fine…so it wasn’t a van and there was no “free candy” written anywhere, but he was def following us. I was almost flattered!