Soooo, about that mouse?

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There she is…in all her beady-eyed, big-eared, long-tailed glory.  And why do we still have her?  Because the parents in this house are push-overs!  Or are soft-hearted.  I prefer the latter definition. 

Yawlin accepted it when I said the mouse had to go.  He understood that I didn’t want to have to worry about a rodent escaping into my house, leaving little droppings, and perhaps mating and creating a bunch of little mini-mouses.  It was Huh who told me the sob story.  How, when she and Plumber took Yawlin to the pet store for his birthday, she had found Yawlin all alone in one of the aisles looking at guinea pig cages.  He had tears in his eyes and looked up at her and said, “This reminds me of S’mores.” 

Remember S’mores?  The guinea pig that we tried so valiantly last October to save, and failed.  Well apparently Yawlin still misses his little pet.  When Huh told him she could afford to buy him a mouse he was elated.  Hence the reason Huh, Plumber, and Yawlin walked into my house with a mouse last week. 

After hearing the sob story from Huh, my heart softened–a little.  Then Huh had an idea.  Why couldn’t the mouse live in the empty aquarium in the basement?  Once upon a time the aquarium had housed Hub’s fresh-water fish.  When the fish were sold and the aquarium was drained it housed Juju’s geckos.  After the geckos died the aquarium sat empty.  Why couldn’t the mouse’s cage be put into the aquarium?  Mice can’t climb glass.  Huh approached Hub with the idea…and now we have a pet mouse named Oreo.

And Hub?  “I’m such a push-over!”  he said.

The day after the mouse was granted a second chance Yawlin had a soccer practice and a baseball game.  As the two of us were driving from soccer practice to his baseball game Yawlin blurted out, “I’m so glad Hub let me keep Oreo!  I love Hub!”


“Really?”  I asked.

Yawlin looked at me out of the corner of his eyes and said, “Well, not love like you would love a dad.  But I like him a lot!”

Those in a blended family situation will understand what happened.  Yawlin does care for his step dad, Hub.  But, he felt he had to show loyalty to his “real” dad, his biological father.  Sometimes the guilt that kids in divorce situations feel can last for years.  Yawlin didn’t want it to appear that he loved his step dad more than his father. 

I took the exchange as something positive and made sure to tell Hub what Yawlin had said.  Sometimes a step parent needs to hear those things.  Yawlin’s feelings for Hub didn’t happen suddenly, just because he got to keep a mouse for a pet.  Hub has worked to develop a relationship with Yawlin (and his sisters) over the four years we have been married.  He has attended sporting events, he has helped with homework, he has joined them in their hobbies.  Yawlin and Hub have spent hours together in the garden, something they both enjoy.  Hub helped Yawlin make the fastest race car for the cub scout pinewood derby.  He has been there.  A kid doesn’t suddenly blurt out feelings of love unless the relationship has been developing over time.

It would appear that Hub is seeing the fruits of his labors.