Thursday, September 11, 2014

It's Back!!!!!!!!!!!

When John and I purchased the farm which had previously been in my family for several generations, the only animals residing there were a few mice and a HUGE black snake. Not a big snake, a HUGE snake, well over five feet long.
My first meeting with this over-sized reptile took place when the kids and I were looking around one of the outbuildings. I was carrying Olivia, who was barely a year old, but Elizabeth (3) and Zach (6) were walking beside me when we saw the snake go underneath the building we were about to enter.

Zach asked why we let the snake go instead of trying to get it to come out so we could kill it. My first thought was to tell him it was because the snake was big enough to swallow children whole, but don’t worry, I didn’t say that. Instead, I said something to the effect that the snake wasn’t really hurting anything, but that he (Zach) needed to stay away from the building.
Fast-forward several weeks. Zach decided he was going to take his tractors and dump truck out to play in the yard. So with his toys in his arms, he opened the door and started to step onto the porch when in a panic he slammed the door shut, dropped his toys, plastered himself against the door and said, “It’s back!”
“It” was the snake—sunning himself on the front stoop (from which he hung over both sides). Apparently this snake thought his territory extended to the house…OUR house! But did I have news for him.
Telling the kids to stay inside, I went outside via another door, got the hoe and made sure that snake never found his way to our porch again (or anywhere else, for that matter).
I can still see Zach plastered against the door; eyes as big as dinner plates from the shock of nearly stepping on the snake as he headed out to play.  But that’s not the only thing I think about when I think about that day.
I think about the fact that, all too often, parents ignore their child’s problems hoping that if they don’t acknowledge them they will stay hidden like a snake underneath a deserted outbuilding. After all, if you don’t talk about it or can’t see it, it’s not there, right? WRONG! Just like the snake left the shed to absorb the warmth of the sun, a problem will always surface to the 'light' sooner or later.
If you don’t acknowledge the problems in your child’s life and help them deal with them appropriately, they will fester and grow and eventually invade your child’s life; robbing them of feeling safe, secure and confident.
 I'm not talking about getting involved in spats between friends, or taking on the system because your child didn't make first string on the team, or blaming someone...anyone for the mistakes your child makes. The problems I’m talking about are genuine difficulties at school, being bullied or even being the bully, physical limitations, difficulties with learning, behavioral problems, emotional anxiety and self-esteem.
In order for Zach and his little sisters to feel (and actually be) safe when going outside to play, the snake had to go. Likewise, threats to your child’s safety, security and well-being need to be dealt with appropriately so that your child doesn’t have to be afraid to step out their front door and live life to the fullest.

Momma D

NOTE: Olivia killed this snake in her front yard a couple of months ago. It was almost as big as 'our' snake.