A Snake and A Car

Today was a weird day. One that I thought would be filled with much more sadness but as I reflect, I know I’m moving forward in hope. Our house listed in this hot market and we already have 5 viewings scheduled. I’m grateful for it, but it was never the plan. I like plans, but honestly, I like change too so I can see the opportunity for growth here. We bought our house 2 years ago after we lived in our first home for 12 years. My husband, now ex, wanted a bigger house and I wanted a better floor plan. We found both in this house. We bought this house for a family of 4 and now we are a family of 3. I won’t get into the details but it’s what bought me to this happy point today.

My daughter got a baby snake for her birthday. She loves it. We all love it actually and I had no idea housing a pet snake would be so enjoyable. Because we were showing the house today, she asked if we could take her, the snake, with us. I don’t put it past a stranger’s kid to reach for a reptile in a tank so I said yes.

So here we are traveling with this pet snake to run errands and have lunch with my mom. We stopped at Home Depot and checked out in the Garden Center. The lady at the register was an older woman, around 70 years old. She noticed that my daughter had something in her hand. I’ve gotten used to padding the news since I know there are wide opinions on snakes. I looked at this woman and said, “My daughter has a pocket pet.” She’d said she’d never heard of a pocket pet.

I chuckled a little and said, “Well that’s what I called her because she’s so tiny. She’s actually a snake.” Of course I know the next question is to ask me if she is venomous. Of course she is not. I explained why we had her with us and asked if she would like to touch her. The lady said she would and when she did it was like a kid at Christmas. She lit up and said she’d never touched a snake in her life. By this time I’ve explained to her that we homeschool and everything we’ve learned about snakes and how amazing they are. She starts talking to my daughter and asking her question while my daughter gently lets her pet snake slither through this woman’s hand.

At this point, this dear sweet lady was giddy with excitement and kept commenting how beautiful our tiny snake was. She thanked us and we walked to our car to notice that a buggy had rolled into the door of my nearly new car. My son, the car enthusiast, began to get angry and in that moment I knew I could ruin the memory we had just made by losing my mind at a speck dent in the car door or I could brush it off because there was truly nothing I could do about it. I chose the latter. An employee walked over, looked at it with me and I told him not to worry about it. He said, “OK people usually get more mad when that happens.” My son and I had a good talk about why it’s important to return your buggy to the corral. (I admit I’ve been guilty in the past.)

And that was that – because I’m choosing to prioritize life over stuff. Cherishing the sweet unexpected moments and connecting with others. Over the next few months, I’ll shop my own house and take with us what is truly necessary while we live without the rest until we can get settled into a new life. If I can keep us focused on what truly matters, life and memories, not the stuff attached to it, then I’ll feel like I’ve done something right in the midst of a time when everything feels wrong.

May we all use what we have to lift up one another and find ourselves focused on what matters most. How do you prioritize life over stuff?

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