Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Scream

I was five or six years old. We lived in El Paso, Texas. We were getting ready to go somewhere, so I was sitting on the couch waiting for everyone else. I can't remember if my brother was in the room with me, but my dad was somewhere else in the house.

My mother is walking to the door, talking to us. As she opens the door, the sunlight that spills joyfully into the living room blinds me and I put my hand up to cover my eyes. I can only see the lower half of my mom's body as she pushes open the screen door, and then she is screaming.

She is screaming and jumping around.

She is screaming, jumping around, and flailing her arms.

My mother is screaming, jumping around, and flailing her arms.

It is the first time I've ever heard my mother scream.

It is the first time I've ever seen my mother afraid.

It's the first time I've ever seen my mother go completely batshit crazy.

I'm fascinated.

My father rushes in by this time to save the day. A tiny garter snake had somehow climbed to the top of the screen door and fell on my mother when she opened the door. I was surprised that the poor snake hadn't keeled over from a heart attack with all the screaming my mother was doing. Once the snake was safely inside a coffee can with holes poked in the lid, my family went on about our day. The snake was later released somewhere which did not involve screaming housewives.


  1. I would scream too. Probably need ongoing therapy if it were a big hairy spider.

  2. I think it's funny people are scared of little garter snakes. I think they're cute.

  3. I would scream too! Snakes freak me out!

  4. It's interesting how we see our parents do something so totally human, and as a child it amazes us.

    My mom reacted this way about a mouse. I didn't know parents got scared. It changed the whole way I saw adults.


I welcome comments, but reserve the right to correct your spelling because I am OCD about it!