Several years ago, my life was in the pooper — figuratively and literally. It became necessary to “get my poop in a group” in every sense of the phrase. Yes, you read that right.
At the time, I was going through an excrutiating divorce. My children and I were living with my parents, ruining what was supposed to be their peaceful retirement.
Now, I’m no Debbie Downer, and can usually find the humor in things. But, at the time (and for many years thereafter), nothing about the following story seemed funny — AT ALL.
What, pray-tell, does all this have to do with poop?
One fateful evening, I glanced over and saw what no parent wants to see — a big bushy tail under the couch. We did not own a single four-legged furry friend.
I didn’t know what it was, but there was a wild animal IN THE HOUSE. I freaked out.
I got my children secured in a bedroom and put a towel at the bottom of the door. I left the sliding glass door open and hoped this little critter would scoot.
It did not. That little bundle of joy unloaded solid nuggets of sunshine everywhere it could locate a blank square of space — countertops, couches, flooring…EVERYWHERE. I can still see it.
Nevertheless, I put on my big girl panties, cleaned up, and we went to bed. I thought it had left.
The next morning, my dear father, stopped into my room on his way to work. I was still asleep.
I will never forget how he ever so slowly leaned over the bed, and hovered over my face. In a calm voice, he whispered, “Our little friend is back.” Then he skeedadled off to work before I could talk him into staying.
Shell shocked, I began to panic. That $%#&*% had done it AGAIN! This thing had no soul.
I frantically called my brothers at work. This was a Defcon 5 situation. To them, this was apparently NOT an emergency. I begged to differ. Nevertheless, no one could help me.
After all, how could they feasibly tell their bosses that they needed to leave work to locate and clean up after an unknown wild animal? Fine. It sounded a little crazy.
Oh, but my friends, this was no innocent little critter. This little jerk was a machine-gun powered pooping machine on a mission to terrorize my already frazzled state of mind. It was out to get me.
My sanity and morning troll hair (I can only imagine) did not a happy marriage make. In that moment, I was so overcome with stress, I was one step on the path to the nut house at the carnival for coocoos.
I was hysterical — a full-fledged sobbing basket case. I had ALREADY cleaned up once. Was I seriously about to clean up after this little nincompooper twice? What did I do to deserve this hellish ordeal? What — I ask you?
I called my sister-in-law. She couldn’t come over either. However, that didn’t stop her from laughing so hard I thought she might pee herself.
I finally came to the unpleasant realization that I was flying solo on this one. I reluctantly began to clean up…AGAIN.
Animal control was called, came out, told us it was a squirrell, and assisted us in escorting the little party pooper out of the house.
That incident happened nearly thirteen years ago. At the time, I remember wondering why. Why, in the midst of my darkest time, was it necessary to throw a squirrel with a case of the explosive poops in the mix?
I still don’t have the full answer. Here is my current working theory.
Sometimes the unexpected and undeserved hoopla that happens becomes a gift — something to laugh about, at a bare minimum, or and dare I say, at the risk of sounding cliché, — learn from.
Sometimes, like in this case, the lesson isn’t immediately apparent. At first, it simply becomes one of our personal narratives. The repetative telling of the story assists us in putting other things in our lives in perspective, creating a metaphor for us to use to help us make sense of things at a later date.
In my case, I needed to get my poop in a group. I cleaned up the literal squirrel mess. More importantly, I somehow managed, with a lot of help, and over a very long period of time, to clean up the seemingly insurmountable mess of my divorce.
If you have a story that you have yet to laugh about or learn from, take comfort, and know that it is very unlikely that a squirrel is going to poop all over your house today. Celebrate that!