Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Boy and His Frogs (Or My Insanity Post)

The funny thing that happened on the way to insanity. That's what this blog post is about. Cause there's not much funny about this summer and Mary's off-the-charts anxiety that is encompassing new things every week. Suddenly, spiders are not okay. Deep breath, Momma. Deep breath.

Critter photos courtesy of Peter, who is trying to get a winning photo for the annual kids' library photo contest. He won the fishing derby this year, but a photo prize has eluded him for two other years now.

A funny-to-me story about Peter's backyard escapades:

Peter was out in the backyard playing with the neighbor boy who comes to our Bible study--a boy more than slightly frog-obsessed. They conjured up a notion about catching a ton of frogs and selling them to the local pet store. Now, Peter has heard from me that you probably need a license to sell live animals to pet stores...but whatever. Apparently the ten-year-old neighbor boy's story about once selling a tree frog to the pet store for real money held more weight than anything I ever said on the subject.

On my way to the grocery store I stopped by our backyard and encountered their container of twenty-one frogs! 

Um, did I just step into one of Pharaoh's plagues?

Those were proud boys!

Only in Ohio, folks.

Don't ever tell me we made a mistake moving our two tiny boys from the California desert to Ohio back in 2005. This is a great place to raise kids; in this yard my children have cuddled with or marveled at a turtle, several snakes, squirrels, fireflies, yearly robins' nests, a bluebird nest, caterpillars and butterflies and moths and metamorphosis, sparrows' nests, hundreds of frogs and dozens of toads, yearly praying mantises, grasshoppers and katydids, a hawk, bunnies, moles, and the list goes on. It's a veritable jungle out there and not a single toy is ever needed.

I call that a perfect backyard and an ideal childhood...being one with nature and learning about the glory of God early.

So then, Peter, explaining the twenty-one frogs, takes me aside and whispers the tale about Landon's tree frog going to the pet store for real cash money, see, to which I could only shake my head, not wanting to burst his bubble with Landon right there. I did say they should let their brood go soon, though, so as not to terrorize the frogs.

At dinner that night, Peter waxed remorseful about where he let them go. Instead of going around the yard and letting the frogs go in their various and assorted hiding places, he let them all go next to one fence, shared with a neighbor. So the frogs, many of them, went to the neighbor's yard, though that isn't what Peter intended. He rather likes having a large amphibian population in his own yard, thank you very much.

An hour or so later he could hear the neighbors, over the privacy fence, talking to their guests about the bazillion frogs that suddenly appeared in their yard (like it was a huge animal-control crisis). Oops.

Their guests apparently tried to tell the ladies that it wasn't a big deal and the frogs would disappear soon--a sentiment Peter, silently listening, shared. He very much feared the ladies peering over the fence and possibly questioning him or his siblings, or worse yet, telling his parents about it.

So at dinner Peter told us guiltily what happened, thinking any minute the ladies would knock on our door, asking his parents "what the heck is up with these frogs all the sudden?"

I will not say the obvious here. ("What will the librarians think?") I didn't say it to Peter, who asked me, "Isn't this so cute, Mommy?"

I'm sitting here typing this in stitches of laughter. It just really tickled my funny bone, though no one else at dinner thought it particularly funny that night. I was the only one worried about shooting my milk across the table from uncontrolled laughter.

Peter is not used to me laughing at his mishaps. He didn't quite know what to think of his Momma, nor did his siblings, who only stared at me before finally giggling at my lack of control. Secretly, I think Peter suspected Mary's anxiety disorder had done me in.

I told him there was no problem because he didn't mean to do it and frogs are no respecter of fences and property lines anyway.

And I told my husband if the ladies next store do come over and ask about the bazillion frogs, he'd have to talk to them because I personally would not be able to stop laughing, and what if, in my hysterical state, I joked about Pharaoh and the ten plagues or something weird like that?

Because that's just like what a mother would say, who earlier that day helped get her kicking and screaming, ultra-terrified daughter into the van to go to the library on a cloudy day. I hate to think it or say it, but my grandfather had severe agoraphobia and my little girl no longer wants to leave the house. Ever. I won't know until the fall, when thunder storms go away, if it's related closely to the weather or if it really is agoraphobia, but life has gotten very complicated.

The good news is that therapy for phobias is successful 90% of the time. Fear of storms is one type of phobia.

The secret to enduring very intense times of life is...find something to laugh about. (Like Peter's sorta-like mating photos and I don't think I should be standing there when the librarians download them.)

And count your blessings.

I will write soon on part 2 of cognitive behavior therapy for anxiety, and how to integrate it with your Christian faith.


Tesha Papik said...

LOL that is so funny:) the neighbors must have been tripping out. SO sorry to hear that the anxiety has gotten so bad.

Amber said...

Oh my, that too would have me spewing my milk across the table. Too funny!
So glad you're able to laugh when things get tough, even if it is due to finally just hitting the point where you just snap! Being able to find something to laugh at...or with, makes the day a bit better. And it makes for a great blog post.
We get a few little frogs here and there, but I know my boys would be in heaven if they had near as many as what you all have.
I do hope things calm down for you and that you all can enjoy your summer!
Have a great week! Frog free. ;-)

Lisa said...

Thanks so much for this post, my dear friend. I had a great laugh...and I need one desperately. And my prayers for your little one and her anxiety issues.
Much love to you,