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.
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.