I heard a squeal from behind the paper thin door.   My unsuspecting daughter was resting on her bunk when I heard her shriek.  In my heart, I knew that something wasn’t right because my kids know better than to freak out during their rest hour over nothing.

   I opened the door.                                                                   

There she bobbed before me hopping around like a rabbit.  J. Kathleen was red faced and her wild eyes expressed all that swirled in her mind.   Her vocal cords strained into a high pitch to the point of cracking while I darted around her twisting body.  All I wanted to do was catch a glimpse of her back.

I told her to stop moving and to stand still but her voice continued to rise to a shout.

“Get it off!”                                                             
                                                                                           

There it was, black and nestled into her peach skin.  Its legs stuck out to the side like a tiny spider.

This was the day that had been tempting me with anxiety for the last few months during our RV adventure.  I had heard many a story of those covered in ticks while rummaging for asparagus in the woods and of children becoming hosts while hiking along paths, so I made a mental declaration then and there.  I wouldn’t hunt for asparagus unless it was in the produce isle and I wouldn’t hike in the nearby woods no matter how inviting it was.

The menace wouldn’t brush off of her back and I felt myself wanting to delegate its removal to someone else.  I pictured it digging deeper while I ran for the tools I needed.  J. Kathleen kept twisting and turning on me.  Sweat rose to the top of my skin and cooled my neck as I bent underneath the air-conditioning vent.

I stood there after its treatment watching and waiting for that tick to retreat.  It didn’t want to leave one bit.  After a few determined attempts to catch its body with a large wad of toilet paper, it backed out.  I caught the sucker, pinched it between my fingers, and flushed it down the toilet.
Taking in a deep breath, I reached for my daughter and held her tight…

Haven’t we all faced this type of day- the kind when a unique situation hits  us and we feel panic?  Maybe we gravitate toward a state of fear and role around in it long before the situation ever happens.  I found myself there in this story.  I had no choice that day but be the grown up. Deep down I had wished for a tick removal volunteer to step in.  No one raised their hand.

The one thing I do believe, is that the next time a tick comes a crawlin’ I will feel a little more confident to remove it and a lot less dread.

   

                                                                      

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 2:1-4