We escaped from the throes of lice this week — the third time the girls have caught it at school in the last 13 months.
I take that back. We did not escape lice. There is no escaping lice once they’ve made their way onto your head and into your life. There is only enduring the process, doing the next needed thing to eradicate the horrid creatures.
The nit picking. The cleaning.
The laundry piles. The quarantine room. The freezing of hair brushes. The rotating series of bed covers. The bare, vacuumed couches. The nightly hair oiling. The morning showering and combing. So much combing.
It’s a Groundhog Day style- anxiety-producing, micro view within the macro destruction of a house torn apart.
(Your head is itching right now, isn’t it?)
At the very beginning of this week’s Operation: Rid the House of the Louse, I read words to the effect of, Notice the small things because the small things are really the big things.
And I had to laugh out loud because, lice.
We know this is not just true for the little bugs, but for all the seemingly small decisions, moments of attention, piled one on another. Life is filled to the gills with small things that are really big.
And I realized this week, uneven as my human response can be, that I’m anchored by a small thing that’s truly big: joy.
I can laugh out loud at the ridiculousness of it all — our family of five all greased up and wrapped in coordinating bandanas for bed. I can laugh, even if it’s just one chortle in the midst of a day of unnecessary (yet unfortunately, very necessary) cleaning.
I can eke out a single line of gratitude (or more) for a husband who’s up to the armpits with me in it and for kids who can be kids in the midst of frustration.
I can pay attention to the lessons found in serving when it’s hard and when my plans are set back yet again.
As much as I’ve wanted to escape from lice this past week, as much as I’ve stomped and pouted and whined and screamed out loud at these things I hate with venom, as much as I’ve wanted to escape my present reality…the tasks at hand have required my presence and full attention.
Once again, I am right here and presented with a choice, once again, how I will give attention to the small things.
If I choose, I can let even a horde of stinking lice instruct me further in the ways of joy.
And I can endure, rejoicing when they’ve all met their destruction.
Larkin Family: 3. Lice Family: 0. Yep. Undefeated.
Praise be to God.
Joining with the Five Minute Friday community and today’s prompt: JOY. I’m coming out of the fog, people, so today took more than five. :) Grateful for you all.
Also…I’m working to continue updating my website here, so thank you for pardoning the in-process.
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Ashley, thank you for sharing yourself in this process. It is the “nit-picking” of life that can so wear us down. And to see God in the midst of even that…is a grace. Bless you friend.
So much work a little bug can cause, and three times! Oh, Ashley!
Hang in there-you’re not alone! Been battling lice over here as well. I love how you ended. Undefeated.
Though I detest everything about this latest “lousy” intrusion into your lives and the plans you had for yourselves, I love everything about this post, Ash!! I love where you’ve found joy in it! I love the final score!!! And maybe more than anything I LOVE the picture I have of Mike’s head wrapped in a paisleyed bandana to make you laugh! It can’t make it all worth it of course, but oh it does create a lasting joyful takeaway!
And all the little things that are truly as obnoxious as those tiny bugs….thanks for this fresh reminder as I pray my heart out that my girls will never bring home lice :)
I love you so! I’m so sorry about the battle – but rejoicing with you over the undefeatedness of how you take them out! Yay for Victory, and clean sheets, and Joy unspeakable and full of glory in the midst of creepy crawlies! ugh. Also – there is this: Whenever I think of Joy, I see your adorable face because you can’t help it – Joy just eeks right out of you, friend! xoxo
Noooooo! I’m so sorry Ashley! This is like the year we had it it felt like a thousand times. So impressive that you could use lice as a teacher for joy. Hopefully, this is it! NO MORE LICE.
I’m glad you’re here today, sharing the small things (but not sharing the lice), and I’m happy to hear that you’re “coming out of the fog”! I look forward to your words and your updates. Blessings, sister.
Oh, Ashley….my daughter in law can relate. Lice twice….with f i v e kids… all you can do is smile. (They’re in Vancouver…..I need to get you guys connected).
I’m so glad you’re still writing….even little drops :-)
Oh my goodness! I had to reach up and scratch my itchy head as you wrote, “Your head itches doesn’t it!” and I laughed out loud! I have my own stories of lice infestations and ugh…. not fun at all! I’m glad you can still find joy even in the unpleasant! Just remember…. some day you will look back on all this as funny…. maybe! ;)
Ashley. beautiful, honest writing about a ghastly topic. So sorry you have to go through this.
Those pesky bugs are so not fun. Have you tried tea tree oil? I’ve heard that it is suppose to work well on those pesky bugs. I’m parked in the #16 spot this week.