Here’s the thing. When you renovate a house, it’s like a tsunami for the insects.
We laid 2 trees to rest, and large red ants crawled up metal posts looking for their new home. They climbed electrical wires, walls, everything but they always climbed upwards. We hope they have found a better abode.
Inside, we disrupted the homes of the black ants, who came out onto bathroom sinks, and the cockroaches seemed disoriented. The termites, I would like to think, have long gone. I saw one tiny little spider, and last night a mosquito had bitten my nose.
But I would like to think, nonetheless that my house is approaching its nirvana.
I discovered lots of things we accumulated after 14 years of living here that we simply had to let go. Garbage bags were filled with stuff. Others went to the maids and workers to choose among. And the remainder we gave to an orphanage.
Ah, that orphanage. It was my bright spot in the tsunami. I would have never gone there if I didn’t have so much to let go. Inside were babies, beautiful, perfect babies. Babies who had been surrendered by their mothers at different hospitals.
The nun at St. Rita’s orphanage explained to me that those six months and below stayed in the first room, so that the parents could always claim them back. In the next room were the older children, toddlers, who hopefully could find loving parents someday.There were many beautiful babies and not enough people to do the one thing babies need to be done for them – carry them when the cry.
And I decided to make that my job for as long a I can. Go there and carry the babies. Touch is an intellectual and emotional experience for a child at that age. Touch nurtures physical growth and health and emotional maturity.
As I carried the first baby, I was amazed at how the tiny hand pinched my neck, and how with his other hand he clung to my shoulder. It was heaven. The next day, I carried a little girl, and again, that loving pinch of a tiny hand on my neck made my day. She rested her head sweetly on my chest. They were so light, their skins so beautiful and clear. They were perfect babies.
Angelina Jolie, where are you? If I had my way, I would love to take on one of these babies. But we also have another baby in our house, the baby of our maid. I figure, this child, whose name is Ashley (just like my dog) is the one that God wants us to care for, for now. We call her Ashley baby, so we don’t get confused with the dog, who always comes when I call the baby. We call Ashley Pumpernickel Ashley Puppy. So we always know which Ashley we are talking about.
House renovations turn the world of the insects upside down and rock our lives and help us to discover sometimes that what is really important is oftentimes outside your nest. It’s nice to live in a good looking house. But outside the house are innocents, the needy, the jaded, the greedy, the hopeful, the angry, the workers, the lovely.