It was shortly after midnight when all the little ones were finally tucked in asleep and the house was silent. Truth is, this is my favorite part of the day. It’s my chance to exhale the chaos before while enjoying a dose of seldom heard peace and quiet. The dark of latenight with all lights shut down is usually calming and tranquil against the regular harshness of cacophony and noise and wants.
Usually. Until I come upon a shadow in the middle of the hardwood floor outside my bedroom.
At first I thought I’d just step over it, figuring it for a toy we left behind at our nightly pick-up. Except I’d already walked this way a couple times and it was never there before. I don’t remember seeing my cat nearby, but what if he attacked a mouse. Oh my crackers, what if that’s a dead mouse in the middle of my floor? At midnight? Is that a tail? Oh no, there’s a tail! That is so not what I want to deal with during my me time.
Doing what I felt was most appropriate, I ignored the situation entirely. Except I still had a few jaunts to make back and forth before I could settle for the night. A bowl to put up, my netbook to charge back in. Each trip, I tiptoed with restraint and stealth over the dark mound in the middle of the floor. Until curiosity got the best of me. I had to see what it was. Better to do so before my oldest son woke up to use the bathroom only to wind up squishing whatever it is in his bare feet. I couldn’t scar him like that. The things moms do for their kids.
I held my breath, peeked out with a single strained eye, and quickly flashed a light.
It wasn’t a mouse. It wasn’t a mouse! Though it probably had more hair. It was, however, a startling revelation on the state of my housekeeping these days.