[I wrote a post earlier this morning, in response to yesteday's comments. It's below this one, just in case you might not notice.]
Last week, as our family was crowded in the hallway of our apartment building, waiting for Jeremiah to figure out which of our new 100 keys actually unlocked our door, I noticed a sign posted for a lost cat. Now, we have lost a dog or two (or three...) over here in the Maddox family. Each loss has been followed by a frantic sign campaign and search effort (one of those may or may not have involved a private investigator...another story for another time :)), so these types of signs always tug especially hard on our heart-strings. We know the hopelessness (insert hysteria) those poor owners are feeling, and we all took time to commit "Boots" and his cute little self to memory...just in case.
Later that night, as I lay dead asleep in bed, I was awakened by the unmistakable clatter of vinyl mini-blinds, followed by the throwing open of a window. "Jeremiah!" I hissed. "What in the world are you doing?!"
"Did you not hear that noise?" he asked.
"What noise? I was asleep!"
"I heard a cat make this horrible noise, like it's head was being ripped off. I was trying to see it. I think it might be Boots."
"You have GOT to be kidding me! Go back to sleep, that wasn't Boots! You're talking crazy..." I say, as Jeremiah begins stepping into his pants and feeling around on the floor for his shirt.
"You are not really about to go outside this apartment in the middle of the night, are you? You could be shot out there! I'm serious!" I cried, half laughing, as he ignored me and went out the door.
I dozed back off--thinking that those micro-chip devices that they insert into your pet in case they are lost, would be worth whatever they cost if it would prevent my husband from going insane over lost pets. This time, I'm awakened by the overhead light in our room being flipped to the "on" position. I squinch my eyes in the glare and look around...
There is Jeremiah, standing over me with a grin like the Cheshire Cat, holding...Boots. Hysterical laughter.
"I stand corrected!" I choked out between laughing tears. "I cannot believe you found Boots, but what are we going to do with him now? It's two in the morning!"
"I've already called the owners. They were really excited and are on their way over right now."
So, Jeremiah got Boots back to his very excited parents. They turned out to be a young couple and the girl lived in our building (but was currently staying at the boyfriend's place a few blocks away). I didn't meet them myself, but Jeremiah said they were very nice people.
The next day we were all riding in the car when Jeremiah got a phone call from Boots' Dad. The phone was on speaker, and I heard him telling Jeremiah that they had offered a "Reward" for finding Boots, and he had forgotten to mention that in the middle-of-the-night confusion. Jeremiah explained how we were just so happy to have helped and, of course, didn't want any money. The guy kept on and was insistent that, if we didn't want money, there must be something they could do to thank us. That is when I heard my husband say this:
"Well...would you mind babysitting our kids sometime? I mean just for an hour or two so that my wife and I could grab dinner together?"
My mouth dropped open so far that my jaw popped. I looked at Jeremiah in silent, but utter disbelief. Had he really just asked a TOTAL STRANGER to babysit our kids? Boots' dad was almost as speechless as me. He stuttered some reply like, "I mean, sure. I guess I could babysit kids, why not?"
Jeremiah hung up, looked over at me, and smiled. "Did you really just do that? Really?!" I asked. Not mad, just nearly as flabbergasted as I'd been to see Boots in the flesh, in my bedroom. I guessed this was why God made women mothers and not men.
"Baby, he was insistent, and we do need a babysitter more than anything else..."
"I'll find us a sitter," I said as I grabbed his hand. "Please don't ask any more random strangers."