On any given week our household is chaos at its finest. Amid homework a plenty and the lives of three adults and two teenagers, we’re a lucky bunch if we can squander up a simple, “Hey” between bites of food as we desperately try to feed a hungry stomach and continue on our way. This kind of chaos can certainly take its toll on a family who has dedicated itself to stay close and deep rooted in that which brought us all here—each other; so although the Monday to Friday workweek has us moving in high gear- our weekends are dedicated to nothing more than a screeching halt—a few days to slow down, reconnect, relax and rejuvenate before we ramp back up into full gear come Monday. My brother especially adores his Saturday like no one I’ve ever known. It’s his well deserved day to relax after the chaos of our lives serves him an unsurpassed amount of stress, 5 hours of sleep a night, and twin 16 year old daughters.It was one of those Saturdays which had a spark about it—the kind of day where the chaos halted magnificently. My sister and I sat painting on the deck, as my brother sat and chatted for a bit before lighting the barbeque for our family dinner. Unforgettable. This was the kind of Saturday my brothers dreams were made of—the kind of Saturday we call those “little house on the prairie” moments—where the wholesome calm swirls through the air in a way that almost seems too true to be real.
My brother was ready to preheat the barbeque as my sister and I finished up our art. Twisting the nozzle to release the propane he lit the barbeque, leaving the lid shut for a moment or two as he reached down for brush to clean the grill. Soon the smell of freshly cooked barbeque would be swirling through the neighborhood; peaking the curiosity of our neighbor’s noses. Peace, rest, and calm swirled through the air dancing with the charred smell of the last meal cooked on the grill, as the flames flickered up and the heat began to rise.
As he opened the lid, to brush the grates clean, his peace came to a screeching halt as a four legged long tailed whisker ridden critter jumped out of the barbeque to escape the blaze. Profanity shot out of my brothers mouth faster than a smoking rodent flees a fire, and just as quickly, the resting, relaxation and rejuvenation turned swiftly into rambling and ranting—much like you may have remembered when he was met these little dudes.My sister held her hand over her mouth as her desperate attempts to silence her laughter were overcome by the snickers and cackles oozing from her cheeks. It was pure panic stemming from an unmistakable, unimaginable, undeniable fear of mice and the realization that this fearsome fiery little critter had invaded his Saturday in an unforgettable way.
As a frightened frazzled brother of mine retreated to the house for safety, I scooped up the shattered pieces of his Saturday, and followed him inside—dedicating myself to spend our Sunday sleuthing out the yard to find any little home where the critters might be dwelling and anything it would take to let him reclaim our yard.That Saturday, and the next few weekends relaxation was replaced with responsibilities, reassurance, and rodent control. The yard was transformed as we cleaned, baited, sprayed and de-cluttered our way to what we hope to be a mouse free territory, and what i can only hope will one day be a brother who will reclaim the barbeque that I’ve temporarily come to call my own.
While the peace and quiet weren’t on the menu that day, the flying flaming mouse who swirled through the air made way for this little sis to step up and give back the caring and comfort that big brother has given me time and time again. Perhaps dodging a flaming rodent isn’t an ideal way to spend ones weekend, but I’d give up my rest and relaxation in a heartbeat, to give back to my brother who has given so much to me.