There’s No Free Lunch

I’m writing this post to explain why you might not see much activity at Practical Paralegalism for a while. Like most of my readers, I work full-time, have a family to care for, have panic attacks when trying to think of something to fix for dinner (every single night to infinity, peeps!) – and have family emergencies.

Just Another Pain Event

Tonight I’m writing another post from my daughter’s hospital room, as she suffers through a sudden and brutal sickle cell pain event. (I prefer the noun “attack” but the medical providers think it sounds more positive to describe it as an event. O. Kay.)

That the most recent pain crisis started as my mom and I drove seven hours through driving rain, heavy snow and shovelfuls of sleet from Tennessee, where we had been visiting someone very special to us who has received a diagnosis of Stage IV brain cancer seemed a little unfair, but you know, life happens. I just told our night nurse, “I know there are people here whose troubles are more serious than ours.” Similar to the way we handle our demanding and sometimes stressful paralegal jobs, as parents and people, we deal with the cards we’re given.

It’s a Snake Eat Mouse World

For example, about nine days ago one of my young relatives in Tennessee gave an adorable white mouse to his baby python, Marvin, to eat. This snake feast works by placing the mouse and the python in the bathtub together. (The cards this mouse was given did not look good.) And normally, the python rapidly consumes his live snack. Only this time, the mouse was ignored. So the python and his intended prey were returned to the snake aquarium to allow nature to take its course in private.

Only the adorable white mouse remained uneaten. Marvin the python ignored him. My other young cousin became somewhat attached to the ridiculously cute rodent, and asked her mom if she could name the mouse and was told the mouse already had a name: Lunch.

By the time I got there this weekend and heard the tail (Lunch has a really long tail), my bleeding heart overflowed, and I begged to free Lunch, arguing he was a freakin’ Christmas miracle to survive over a week in an aquarium with a starving baby python (who by the way, looked pretty awful. I mean, I look at a lot of medical records every day and may by now think I can play a doctor on TV – but that snake looked right puny).

Lunch Isn’t on the Menu

But Lunch was destined for another encounter in the bathtub with Marvin. Figuring he was fulfilling his dismal destiny, the creatures were left alone for a bit this morning (because we have evolved from avid fans of bloodshed at the Roman Coliseum). Only when my relatives returned to collect Marvin, Lunch was sitting on top of him. My first cousin, a nurse, observed Marvin appeared to be dead. (See, I could play a doctor on TV, or at least a member of House’s diagnostic team. “It’s lupus!”).

Lunch, the freakin’ Christmas miracle, was freed, which would have been a better Christmas miracle if my young cousin’s dog hadn’t immediately grabbed him and carried him off to, well, only God knows where. (God, are you listening? Couldn’t you give Lunch a break and hook him up with a field mouse who has a nice crib under the garage?)

So, others do have it worse than us. My youngest is gettin’ great narcotics (I asked her what her name was a minute ago and she said it’s “Wut?”) And while Lunch may not be free (or even alive) he did have the glory of sitting atop a python.

If you’re wondering where I am for a while, I’m trying to create a Christmas miracle – getting a tree up sooner than four days before Christmas, meeting litigation deadlines while caring for one relaxed kid in the hospital who thinks her name is Wut?, and wondering if Lunch is out there somewhere, telling a group of completely rapt field mice how he kicked a python’s butt.

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