We recently survived a tragic and highly traumatic event, with our most precious, best girl, an Albino Boa, named Goldie. My older son adored and cared for Goldie in a way that stoked my unyielding awareness over having been regarded and cared for so differently. Absolutely thoughtful, unquestionably enamored, faithful, and dutiful. He was endlessly researching best practices and provisions for the care and enrichment of his Goldie.
Before the event, my older son had been working for months to demonstrate sustained routinized household responsibility and commitment with an October 1 deadline. (Ok- it is not yet Ocotber 1, but I will be out of commisssion (for medical stuff ) for a few months, as of Wednesday, September 30 and my son’s dedication built so much trust – I wanted to reward his achievement: level 1 responsibility/privelge, which allows him to have another creature, an insect. Level 1 is an insect. Yup. It took us more than a year to string together 3 months of daily intentional and responsible practices. WE will need to discuss Level 2 expectations and rewards. His long term goal is to have and care for many reptiles. Thank goodness, we can do this one day at a time, striving toward responsiblity and an expansive reptile collection and expert husbandry.
While my son’s care for precious Goldie was impeccable, nothing else about his life was well tended to. N.O.T.H.I.N.G. He circumvented Level 1 Responisbility requirements with me, for getting a snake, by arranging with his father. Finally though, achievement unlocked and yesterday he bought and set up a beautiful enclosure and all of the enrichment and accessories- substrate, two climbing walls(for molting), a special dish for food and a heating pad. He is saving for an apparently very special light fixture, which cost $75.00, for this new pet. Seventy five dollars! For a light- for a bug. What a sweet little planner, organizer, and enthusiastic student of husbandry.
We picked up his pet India Domino Roach (click link to see–it is not gross at all) and WE are thrilled with her, (his brother and I) mostly with his joy over having her. His younger brother bought IT for him. It wont be possible to discern the gender of our new friend, for maybe a year, so we needed a sort of androgynous type name. Currently, we are calling it Jilan. Last night my son immediately, following a long-ass game of Clue, raced to check on her, and reported back to me, whispering: “Jilan is busy exploring her new home” and a little later: “Jilan ate some of her banana.” He whispered about her because Sweet Greg wants to know and hear nothing of the bugs we are willingly collecting and housing, with potential breeding ambition.
My boys and I are getting a ton of pleasure and laughter off this lil bug that cost $10 and for now, looks like a rolly polly. When it matures, it will resemble a ladybug but with a beautiful black and white design on it’s back. Who knew how much I would enjoy bugs and snakes and even a pet named after my sister? Hating my sister is the worst. And forgiving and forgetting what she did, has not been possible. I think hearing and saying her name with love, is healing. The name Jilan reminds me of a sister who also struggled in the same difficult environment and learned to cope— the ways that she did. While Jilan was never particularly kind to me, I think that in her striving to become a Catherine Whitney, her attempts to demonstrate authority, superiority, and differentiation just happened to be damaging AF.
I believe that if ever I had a sister who would have openly related to me, it was Jilan. Again, ours was not a kind relationship, well before her name/shape shift. It is hard to know- she is 6 – 7 years older and we are indeed quite different, but similar, also. I know we each have a lot of pain.Much Love,
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