I didn’t even know what an opossum was, and I certainly never knew we might have an opossum in the crawlspace. I was just dealing with the emotions of sending every single child off to school full-time, having a quiet home to myself. I vacillated between extreme emotions. I desperately missed each child, especially my youngest who just started first grade. I was proud of each of them. I was relieved and joyous at having several hours all to myself to get my entire to-do list done. I didn’t feel like doing a single thing on my to-do list. Then I felt guilt at not taking advantage of every single moment I had to myself. And, finally, I got back to really missing each child. I hoped that this emotional cycle would go away after a few days, so I could go back to normal.
I finally decided I’d at least clean the kids’ bathroom and then sit down with a good book. That seemed like a good compromise for the first day back to school. That way, I’d get something done, thus alleviating the guilt. Then, I would enjoy some quiet time to myself by reading a good book, thus taking my mind off of how much I missed the children. After an hour or so of reading, I’d decide what to do next.
So, it was with this plan that I grabbed the cleaning supplies and headed into the disaster that is known as my children’s bathroom. I cleaned the toys out of the tub, and floor, and countertops, and started spraying down the place. That’s when I heard a noise behind the shower wall.
Maybe that noise had always been there, but I never noticed it over the happy/fighting/playing noises of my children. Maybe it was brand new. I don’t know. I just know it scared the bejeebers out of me. Scritch, scratch, followed by some sort of movement behind the wall. How long had this been going on? Have the kids heard it? Is that why little Lindsey’s been having nightmares lately?
Hesitantly, I tapped on the wall, and the movement-sound stopped abruptly. I stood still, waiting. It was like a quiet stand-off. Before too long, though, that scritch scratch noise started up again. So much for my boring, guilt-ridden, quiet morning. I fled the bathroom and called my husband, who suggested we might have an animal, like an opossum in the crawlspace. I had to look up opossum on the internet so I knew what he was talking about. An opossum in the crawlspace could mean fleas, ticks, or eventually a dead opossum attracting all sorts of other vermin.
I quickly found the number for Allstate Animal Control and got someone out there right away. Sure enough, my husband was right. We had an opossum in the crawlspace. The guy managed to get it out, though, and the house has gone back to being quiet through the long hours while the children are in school. I’m enjoying that quiet on a whole new level now, though.