A Message from a Roach
by Weam Namou
My daughter had half-a-day of school today. After picking her up, I dropped off my son at nursery and she and I went to a café for lunch. While I worked on my computer, she ate a bowl of soup. Suddenly, she said, “Mom, there’s a bug here!”
I looked at the roach lying on its back on the windowsill. Its legs struggled to move in the air as it gave its last few breaths. The sight of it saddened me, reminding me how petty our problems often are. Last night, for instance, a lot of tension arose between me and my three-year-old son when he threw a one-hour tantrum over chocolate ice cream. We didn’t have chocolate ice cream. I ended up yelling at him, and feeling guilty about it. Seeing the roach grasp for life made me realize how ridiculous it is to dwell on the negative. I decided to put my computer aside and enjoy my lunch with my daughter. At that moment, I looked up and saw a bird flipping its wings and flying high.
“Mom, it’s not dead!”
The roach had flipped itself over onto its legs and was now moving. I smiled.
“Let’s take it outside when we leave,” I said.
Using a paper receipt, my daughter placed it on the cafe menu, after she’d said to it, “I survived you” meaning she saved it. We dropped it off at a circle of dirt, bushes and trees, where it belongs. In her excitement, my daughter forgot her Ipod inside the cafe. She hurriedly went back to get it. Thank God it was still there. Otherwise, I would have paid too much to save a roach’s life.
When I picked up my son from school, he had made a maraca out of a plastic bottle. It was stuffed with variously paint-colored corn kernels. It was exactly what I was looking for, for reasons I cannot yet explain in this post.
I handed my son his bag of snacks (chocolate milk and potato chips) which he always ate in the car after a hard two-hour day at nursery.
“You got me potato chips,” he said smiling and crunching. “So I’m not mad at you today.”