I am finally going to confess. It has been two and a half years since 'the incident.' I thought I had buried the memory deep in my subconscious until a traumatic moment of three days ago sent it soaring back to the forefront of my brain.
Let's go back to July of 2008. We had been in Bangkok for just a couple of days, suffering through the worst jet lag of my life. We were in our new, unfamiliar home that felt cavernous and echo-ey. All of our possessions were on a boat somewhere in the middle of the Pacific. We had two kids (2 and 4 at the time) waking at odd hours of the night, falling asleep at inconvenient times (Ever tried carrying a child on your back while navigating Bangkok's skytrain for the first time? I don't advise it.). I was overwhelmed with the heat and really wishing we had crammed more toys in our few suitcases. And, my eyes were blazing with the wonderful sights, sounds and scents that we spent our early days seeing, hearing and smelling. I was simultaneously exhausted and falling in love with our new home. So, just remember all of that when I finally bring myself to confess. (Yes, these are excuses and I am attempting to sway your understanding when I reveal my confession).
Here goes. Confession.
9 o'clock at night. I walked into our kitchen. A small gecko (even small in size by gecko standards) ran across the kitchen floor. I started hyperventilating. I shook. And, then, I cried. (And, while I'm embarrassing myself, let us go a true step further. I cried those ugly sobbing 'what-have-I-gotten-myself-into' tears.) Oh, the relief of finally putting it in writing. Confession over.
Fast forward to three days ago. 9 o'clock at night. Needing some clean diapers for our 6-week-old son, I walked out to our back balcony to check on the laundry. Three steps outside and I felt a sharp, clinging sensation on my bare forearm. A large gecko (large by gecko standards) fell from the ceiling onto my arm. All in one move, I looked, inhaled sharply and brushed the creature rapidly off my arm. I picked up the freshly laundered diapers and smiled (side note: Let's be brutally honest. It wasn't a content, 'wow-look-how-well-I-handled-that' smile. It was more a demented 'oh-I-just-survived-a-nightmare' smile.) No hyperventilating. No tears.
Look how far I've come.