If you do not live in Central Texas. If you do not have a pecan tree in your yard. If you do not own and/or live in an older house, the rest of this post may sound horrific to you. It is. But it is also just life for us, and for better or worse here it is: we have roaches. Not cockroaches. Not those little boogers that infest your cabinets and set up home and have 2000 children in your pantry. No. Those are terrible and if you have to deal with those or try to root them out, I'm so deeply sorry. I'm sure it's a nightmare. But that's not our particular issue here. No, these are water roaches. Water roaches are about 20 times that size, do not infest your house, but do like to meander through on exploratory trips now and then.
Water roaches like pecan trees. Scratch that. Water roaches LOVE pecan trees. they like to live between the loose bark and the inner tree. But when it gets too damp, or not damp enough, they will pursue water where they can find it. That means local houses. That means OUR house. And they are my biggest fear.
See water roaches have no natural offensive mechanisms. They do not bite. They do not sting. They are not poisonous. They do not hurt you. Because they do not have to. No. You will be too busy hurting yourself trying to get away from them. With a lack of offensive strategy they have one big defensive strategy. They are ugly, gross and will run and fly right at you if they become aware you are in the room. Terrible. Terrible!
So, in June, we will have owned our home for 4 years. I love our house. It's a 1930's style home with a huge front porch, complete with swing, 12 foot ceilings on the ground floor, big windows and a back deck. But there, in the back yard, big as Christmas is a towering pecan tree. Home to 4000 of the worlds most hateful and demonic water roaches you will ever see. These guys are huge, they are ugly, they are fast, they can fly and they love nothing in the world so much as terrorizing me. And it's worse this year than ever!! For the last 3 years we've been in a terrible drought, which, as bad as its been for plants and an animals and (God bless you) the farmers, its been that bad for the insects too. I have not thanked God enough for that. Because this year it started to rain again. And the mosquitoes, flies, cane flies, moths, June bugs, beetles, worms and lady bugs have come back! And so have the water roaches.
To paint the picture a bit more clearly. I'm also pregnant. Due 2 days ago. That's right! 40 weeks and 2 days pregnant is never a fun time, but when there are roaches involved...oh sisters and brothers, let me testify it has gotten ugly. And instead of being gentle about it, these hateful creatures have come out in full attack against me! Me! Two days ago, after 4 hours of false labor, as I was getting out of the tub, reconciling to the fact that I was not having my baby yet, I pulled a towel out of the cabinet and a roach that had been on the towel, hiding, waiting for the perfect opportunity to attack, leapt off of the towel and onto my very person!! He was touching me!! On my poor, distended, overdue pregnant belly! The horror of it cannot be put into words. I knocked him off and went screaming naked from the bathroom, towel abandoned on the floor, streaking past my 3 boys and hollering at my husband, "It was on me! It was on me! It was on me!" The adrenaline rush alone should have popped this baby right out! Ugh!
Then, in a (sadly typical) burst of heartburn at 4 yesterday morning, I went to the kitchen to find something to ease the fire in my esophagus, only to find the kitchen invaded by (count them) 4 of the enemy troops! I surrendered the battle and returned to bed. My saint of a husband got up and killed them all and got me a glass of milk. But when he returned to our bedroom to give it to me, he found one on the ceiling and one on the floor of our bedroom! SIX IN ONE NIGHT!! They are in full attack mode, trying to drive me insane and getting close to succeeding.
Now, I really think this would be bad enough on anyone. My husband is level headed and a gifted roach-killer and it's straining his nerves. But after trying to be tough, to reason and rationalize myself about these bugs, I finally came to the conclusion last year that this is a phobia for me. I am terrified of them. I don't mean in an "Ewww! I'm a girl and I hate bugs!" way. No. I like a lot of bugs. I'll catch grasshoppers, lady bugs and caterpillars. I help the boys with their snail obsession. I'm not squeamish. And stinging insects don't even rattle me. Bees, wasps, spiders, scorpions...I"m bigger than them and I have a good fly swatter. But roaches. Roaches are a whole different story. I'll absolutely turn into a 4th grade girl and climb the walls trying to get away. I'll nearly give myself a heart attack if one comes at me. And I surrender the house to them. I just pack up the kids and we leave until Daddy can get home and rescue us. Except I really don't want my boys to be sissies. So, I've had to toughen up, so they can toughen up. And now, I have 2 budding roach killers and a 2 year old who brags about "Saving momma from the 'tot-row'". But I cannot deny my abject fear of them. It's unreasonable. It's irrational. It's inconvenient. But there it is. I'm flat out freaked out by roaches.
So here I sit tonight wondering if there is a safe place to sleep where one will not wander across me in the middle of the night and cause a brain aneurism. If I wasn't waiting to have this baby, it might be a good time of year to go see family. Family that lives where no roach ever dreamed of going. Family whose homes are safe from the plague.
Oh, I know people who think God is a big meanie, who makes up arbitrary rules and smites people with his wrath. But I know He is gracious and good and longs for all to come to repentance because of all 10 plagues he sent on Egypt not ONE was WATER ROACHES!!!