So I was already frazzled because a moth had gotten trapped inside the house and had decided to attack me.
I’m not kidding. The thing flew in my face and I started swinging my arms wildly saying things like, “Get away!” and, “Don’t worry kids. Mommy isn’t REALLY afraid.” I mean, I can’t have them thinking that moths terrify me. Even though they do. They’re brown and furry and disgusting looking and they get excited over bright lights for craps sake!
I managed to get the moth away from me and I was trying to decide if I should kill the thing or find a way for it to get outside. It had flown over to the wall and was resting there all gross and fuzzy. I had decided that I’d grab it with a bunch of paper towels and throw everything outside.
I had a wad of paper towels and was inching closer to the moth. I was about to cover it with the paper towels when....
....there was a loud boom and the entire house started shaking for a few seconds.
“What was THAT?” Tommy shrieked from the couch. Natalie paused from pulling the DVDs out of the drawer and looked up with a start.
What I wanted to scream was, WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!
But I composed and reminded myself that even though it was a shocking concept, I was the adult here and I had to reassure my children that everything was okay.
It’s just, I probably watch too many of those movies where the world ends after a gigantic blast. Or I watch the movies where aliens come down and destroy the earth and Will Smith has to save everyone.
“It was nothing,” I assured my confused kids. “Just the silly military doing weird things.” I made a funny face when I said the words ‘silly military’ and this made them laugh.
When you live on a military base, you never know what you’ll hear. Or encounter. One time I was on my way to Gymboree and before I could leave the base, a military policeman stopped me and said I had to wait for the general to pass.
“But sir,” I wanted to argue. “There’s a fantastic sale going on right now. Surely if you phone up the General and let him know this, he’ll be happy to let me pass?”
I didn’t say that. Of course I wanted to but instead I sat and waited...and waited....and finally there was this fancy looking car followed by a bunch of other cars in case someone tried to take out the general. And actually, I was close to doing so because I just wanted to get to my freaking sale and the kids were getting restless in the back seat. I really think the General should have rules like, “People on the base don’t have to wait for me to pass if there is a sale or if they have young children in the backseat....”
Sometimes I also have fantasies about calling up the Command Center and asking them to turn off the airplanes because my kids are trying to get to sleep and how are they supposed to sleep if they keep flying their aircraft right over my house?
Anyhow, back to the loud boom incident.
I ended up peeking out the window and in the distance I saw black smoke rising so I figured the military had blown something up. I was contemplating this when another boom was heard and the house started shaking again.
The only reason why I didn’t freak out this time was because I spotted a jogger who had nearly jumped out of his skin when the Big Bang occurred. His legs spread out and his arms shot up in the air and I’m actually surprised he didn’t fall to the ground. If that had been me I’d have surely screeched, “We’re all going to DIE!” before rushing off.
I need to start watching happier movies.
“What’s going on now?” Tommy demanded, looking at me as though I had made the house shudder.
“It’s the military blowing stuff up,” I explained.
“Cool!” Tommy said, eyes lighting up.
About a minute later there was a knock on the door and for a brief second I thought it might be a soldier informing me that a bunch of aliens had just dropped down and did I happen to see any scurrying about?
Yeah, obviously I need to cut back on the shows about extraterrestrials too.
It turns out that it was my neighbor. She stood on the doorstep with wide eyes. My neighbor looks to be all of twenty and is probably ninety pounds soaking wet. It’s not fair because she has a ten-month-old little boy and I’m all, okay, I had my son at nineteen and I looked like a total blob for the first two years after I had him. How is she able to already be skinny? It’s just not fair.
“Are you okay?” she asked. “I heard a banging sound. Did something fall over? Sometimes I can hear noises through the walls and they’re never as loud as that so I decided to check.”
What? Wait? She hears NOISES?
I thought back to a few days prior when I had stepped on one of Tommy’s Matchbox cars with my bare foot and had let out a string of profanities. I normally don’t talk like that, I swear! It’s just, it really HURT. There were sharp edges on that car which totally dug into my heel.
It was on the tip of my tongue to gush, “Okay, how much did you hear the other day? Because I normally don’t talk like that. I only use bad words when I’ve been injured which is totally allowed—it even says so in all the parenting books that I’ve read.”
Okay, so not really, but there SHOULD be a chapter entitled: “It’s okay to swear when you’ve been hurt.”
“Nothing fell over,” I assured the neighbor. “I think the military is just blowing stuff up.”
She still looked a little spooked as though worried that I totally pulled a Jack Nicholson from The Shining and was going through the house destroying things and shouting stuff like, “HEEERREESSS MOMMY!” while swinging a baseball bat around my head.
“Okay then,” the neighbor finally said, still a little wary. She tried to crane her neck around me, trying in vain to spot a toppled over piece of furniture “Bye.” She slowly walked back to her house.
My neighbor thinks I’m knocking over furniture on purpose.