My daughters surprise me sometimes. I remember one time when we were missionaries in Mexico, we were doing a Vacation Bible School in a very, very poor part of town. My middle daughter was 5-years old then. She had the knack of making friends everywhere we went, and today was no exception. She had been chattering with another little girl from the neighborhood. The next thing I knew my daughter was pushing her fist up into my face to show me a MOUSE that the girl had given her! I told both girls that we couldn’t keep the mouse, but since she was already contaminated with whatever germs the creature was carrying, I said she could hold it for a while and then give it back to the sweet little owner. Seriously!
In Costa Rica we live with nature all around us, even in the city. Any time we are home, our doors and windows are open… with no screens on them (birds often fly right into our house!). One night our dog Nacho was laying on a pillow in front of the open patio door when a mouse scurried around the corner. I shouted, “MOUSE!” The dog looked up. Face to face with our shih-tzu, the mouse turned right back around and ran into the yard. My kids grabbed flash lights and ran into the garden trying to catch the mouse. He was long gone by then. They were not one bit afraid!
Then there are the geckos. We have geckos everywhere! (One time I stepped on one with my bare foot early in the morning. Ever since then, I wear socks at night. I also stepped on a huge beetle in my socks one night, and I was thankful I wasn’t barefoot.) When we lived in an apartment building with other American missionaries, the kids would all catch geckos and try to race them in the hallway. I was shocked that my girly-girl would pick them up! It never fails, whenever they see a gecko in the house, my girls want to keep it for a pet. I only tolerate them in the house because they eat bugs. I suppose I have no choice really. I can’t keep the critters out.
Last Sunday morning my youngest child and I were greeted first thing in the morning by a baby gecko on the wall in the bathroom. “OOOOOOOH! He’s so cute!” Lucy squealed. He looked squishy and wiggly to me. (It doesn’t matter how gross a creature is, if I say it’s a “baby” my girls adore it.) She poked at him and chased him around until I told her to leave it alone. I told her that he will lose his tail if he gets scared, but even that did not deter her. She wanted him. I washed her hands well after he escaped behind the toilet. These girls constantly surprise me.