Of Ticks and Shirtless Starfish

Had someone told me when I moved from Washington, that 2 and ½ years later, I would wake up one morning to find myself a single mom to two nearly teen boys, I would have laughed and maybe run away from home.  Then one Friday morning in May, I woke up and began the journey with my sons that I never dreamed of or even thought I could travel.

Bolt is in middle school, so his bus comes almost 2 hours before Messi’s elementary school bus.  That means, before first light most of the year, I must try to wake him up for school as alarms just don’t cut it.  I say try, because it is just that.  He is a very sound sleeper and waking him up has involved various alarms, me singing my Beauty and the Beast renditions, torturing him with Justin Bieber songs on playback, shaking his bed and anything else I can think of.  For those also on the journey of raising teen/tween boys, you may find this this article helpful.  If you don’t have the privilege of parenting a shirtless starfish (aka teen boy), read this and pray for all of those that face this daily battle.

Starfish or sleeping teen boy? Image Credit

On this particular morning, I was nervous and a little on edge.  Just as I was beginning my wake-up attempts with Bolt, I hear a scream from Messi’s room.  He is yelling over and over “mom, mom”.  I panicked because neither of my son’s yells for me and given our current family situation, I had no idea what to expect.  I throw open his door to find him sitting up, sleepily and saying over and over “a tick is on me, help me find it”.  At first, I thought he must be dreaming as he had several ticks removed after a field trip the day before (we do live in the heart of tick and Lyme Disease country).  Then he yells “watch out mom, it is crawling up your neck” and again I think he is dreaming until I felt something crawl up my neck.  At that point, I believe I screamed or squealed and did some sort of exorcist dance that caused said tick to be launched across the room.

Image Credit

We then captured the tick in a tissue and found several more ticks in Messi’s bed.  The sheets were then burned in holy water (or rather washed on the hot cycle).  Thankfully this entire tick event, provided the needed wake-up excitement for Bolt and we began our day.  Thinking back on that day, I smile with complete fondness and laughter.  It was like God was sitting up in heaven laughing at me and giving me the gift of “you got this girl”.  Today I needed a reminder that I can do this, ticks, shirtless starfish, and all.

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