i have passed a sacred prairie initiation, and am now one step closer to the title "prairie girl". i'm not sure what other initiations i must go through, i'm sure they will be self-evident such as this one was... but let's back up a bit shall we?
on friday i was in the shower, soaping up my back, when i noticed a new mole. hmmm....i thought. i was told to keep track of such anomalies. so, i checked it out. and it moved.
oh, yay. you read right. it MOVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
suddenly i had a flashback: it was a cool summer evening last year. i was with my family and some new saskatoonian friends up at Blackstrap lake. our friends were staying for the weekend, and had invited us up for dinner. we were just about to leave, feeling filled up with the beauty of nature, friendship and food. i looked out over the lake, our kids were running along it's edge with a beautiful frolicking dog. one of the boys had a remote controlled boat zooming through the water beside them. despite the descending mosquitos, the evening felt pretty perfect. we started expressing our thank-yous and goodbyes, then someone says "make sure you check for ticks".
"yah, right." i say. funny prairie people thinking i'm going to swallow that one.
"no, we're serious. you need to check. everywhere. and we mean, everywhere."
i scan the faces... they seem like they're trying to look serious and a little bit sympathetic, but i can also detect some smiles hiding in the corners of their mouths. "sure," i say.
let me describe a tick to you. it looks like a child's drawing of a bug. it's round with legs shooting straight out in multiple directions - kind of like a sun. my daughter (who ran into the bathroom to rescue me when she heard me yelling) calmly explained that she learned in her grade two health class that ticks can not be crushed - you have to flush them down the toilet. "their shells are too hard mommy". nice.
they don't hurt, they don't leave a bite mark or even an itch. but i had to pull the little sucker off me like a leech. i just had to close my eyes and regroup for a second after writing that last sentence.
so, with my brave girl encouraging me forward i caught the tick off the shower floor (where i had thrown it and immediately stepped out of the shower. who needs to rinse?) and flushed it down the toilet. then, i got into a pretty dress and some sparkly jewelery to try and mask the fact that i have no idea how long that thing was living on me and i feel disgusting and where the heck did i get it? and i need to feel a little bit like a princess for just a moment so back off!!
my daughter kindly assured me that the tick they found on someone in their class was MUCH bigger.
miraculously enough, i still want to be a prairie girl. in fact, i cried today at the thought of ever leaving. i love you Saskatoon, ticks and all.