It was another of those terrible, no-good, very bad days that we read about in children’s books and then realize that they happen in real life. There were no meatballs falling from the sky, it was not raining cats and dogs, and there were no wild things swinging from trees.
But there were two people in a car – my husband and I.
It was a lonely day, and it may have even been the day that Mark called in to the hospital to say he couldn’t come into clinicals because his wife was having a no-good, very bad day. Well, I don’t think he used the exact same words as Alexander. Although, when Mark was a child, his face was used on the cover of a children’s book. But that’s another story… Needless to say, I was not feeling so great. After a UTI infection and four different kinds of antibiotics plus a trip to the hospital, my mood and my body were, simultaneously, not working.
Anyway, we were in the car, and I was probably crying like a crazy person, and Mark was probably being kind like a Mark, when he suddenly pulled over. EEERRRRRRKKKKK went the brakes, and he backed up… like a crazy person.
“What was THAT?” he said as I asked the same question in my head.
There were tears in my eyes, and I couldn’t figure out why he was concerned about what was probably just a leaf or a piece of trash while I was losing my mind. That seems, to me, like what husbands should be concerned about.
I wonder now that I’m married, if at some point, husbands decide that there’s nothing they can do about their wives losing their minds and they just stop trying to help. And I’m sure that I’ve already used my quota of crazy moments. But Mark hasn’t stopped being nice to me! He says it’s because I’m his girl. I think that’s sweet.
Anyway, I was about to get annoyed when he said the magic word. Hedgehog.
“I think it’s a hedgehog!” he said. And when I heard that magical word, I’m sure my tears stopped instantly and my mourning turned to joy.
“A HEDGEhog?!!?” I squealed, much like a child being thrown in the air. “WhereWhereWhereWhereWhere?!” I demanded and repeated and repeated. It was in a shriek – like the shrieking eels in The Princess Bride.
He looked at me and smiled, then got out of the car. “There was something on it’s head. It looked stuck. What is it doing…” and on and on he muttered. He is like a scientist and he talks like one sometimes. He wants to know why.
I just wanted to know where.
And so, the scientist and the idealist came, in turn, to an eggshell. That eggshell was scurrying.
THAT EGGSHELL WAS A HEDGEHOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I picked it up and cuddled it, and Mark used his skills as a nurse to slowly pry the egg from the head. Awwwww. You’ve never seen a more adorable hedgehog face in all your life (although my hedgehog named Foxe was quite adorable. But she never had egg on her face.) It was like all of a sudden we had a child and that child had just turned a year old and shoved it’s face inside of his birthday cake and then smiled at us.
I am very lucky to have a husband that finds hedgehogs for me. It’s one of his many superpowers. Others include finding waterfalls, climbing redwood trees, speaking cat language – both body language and meows!, looking adorable, re-routing phones, and making stovetop espresso that tastes like your typical ambrosia (drink of the gods).
We let our poor little egg-faced hedgehog go into the wild. But, I will always remember that look on his face when my husband surgically and carefully removed the egg shell from our first child’s animal face.