The middle schooler grabs her sneakers from the front porch and we race to the car— late for school as always— it’s Monday. We’re driving and stop at a traffic light and as she puts on her first shoe she screams, “Oh my god, DAD!” “Oh my god”. “DAD. Lizard.” OK I’m no expert, but nothing ever good has come out of the phrase “Dad. LIZARD.” And I proceed to see a lizard jump out of her shoe and ON to the dashboard of the car. Lizard. Still at the traffic light and now I’m screaming like a baby. I open the car door like I’m going to evacuate in the middle of the intersection. She opens her door. The lizard proceeds to run right to the crevice between the dashboard. “Oh heck no.” “Stop it!!” “Don’t let the lizard get in there!!” “We’ll never get it out!!”. Green light. Doors still open. Close door. Cars beeping. Now the lizard is half way in the crevice with only its feet and tail sticking out.. the feet wrangling back and forth. We bank a right turn. Pull over. Doors open. Evacuate. “Oh no, not you kid”. “Grab paper”. We need to get it out!!” The lizard clinging on for dear life.. half way between the dashboard and being forever lost on the inside of the car… and sweet freedom two feet away. Middle schooler gingerly grabs the tail. Slight tug while I cower nearby. I use a postcard to try and inch it back on top of the dashboard. It’s clinging. Still clinging. Daughter moves in again and tugs slightly again.. finally.. finally.. the lizard relents. Then there’s the moment with kid sitting there holding a lizard by the tail in the middle of the car as I yell, “outside the car. OUTSIDE the car. OUTSIDE.” And she finally placed it outside on the grass. Freedom. To start a new life several blocks away. We got back in the car. She put on her other shoe. We headed off to school. Monday.
((**hypothetical picture of the lizard))