It was the first day back to school after the holidays.

Not only after the holidays, which included two 3.5 day weekends with Daddy at home, but also after a “snow” weekend, full of frolic and laziness.

There was no way this would go well.

And indeed it did not. No one was prepared for academic pursuits, and the dunking of all three of us back into the books was traumatic, to say the least. By 8:54am, everyone had cried. Including nearly almost myself.

My amount of thankfulness I experienced when Not-Crazy-Renee texted me is indescribable.

possum text

She was on her way out of our neighborhood to fly out of town. Yet she had the kindness, thoughtfulness, and compassion to think of me in the midst of her travel flurry.

(Unlike my husband, who had seen the possum on the way to work earlier that morning, but forgot to mention it. Forgot to immediately inform his wife that there was a dead animal just down the road! Inconceivable.)

I attempted to focus on school for a bit longer, but then decided I needed an outlet. Stat.

So I grabbed some supplies, left my children home alone (for my half-mile drive up the street), and set off to find my happy place. My therapy. My mood lifter. But not before appropriately thanking Not-Crazy-Renee.

possum text

I drove slowly up the referenced road scouring the area for a good looking possum. Finally, I spotted her. She was indeed a lovely specimen.

(Except that her eyeballs already being eaten out by a greedy crow, but I could work with that.)

I turned around and parked on the hill. Why do possums always die on hills? Maybe they’re slow like semi-trailer trucks on an incline. Perhaps I should launch an investigation.

I waited for the cars to pass, realizing that I parked in just the wrong spot that forced all the passing cars to straddle my new friend. I hoped they didn’t hit her again in the process.

The area cleared out and I toted my supplies, took some shots, ran most of the supplies back to the car while another car passed, then took one prop back, and shot again.

Photo Shoot #1:

First-Day-Back-to-SchoolThe first day back to school will be the death of us all.”

A dead animal acting out a commentary on my immediate circumstances. Could there be anything more therapeutic?

I think not.

And then the second shot, with a book picked off my shelves specifically for her…

Possum-Reading-Naked-Mole-Rat“Quit trying to be what you’re not.”

I went back to my teaching pursuits with a bounce in my step, happy that I had accomplished something meaningful that day.

But what I couldn’t figure out is what this model’s name is. She now joins the ranks of Buck Skywalker, Crunchy the ‘Possum, Sloppy the Squirrel, Sunset the Armadillo, and Sleepy the Chipmunk, but she herself is currently nameless. Please help.

Who. Is. This. Little Lady.

Now taking suggestions.

I swear this blog isn’t just becoming a roadkill blog. I think. I don’t know. Is it? My apologies. My writing subject matter tends to meander through many various fields of study – from denim to poop to chocolate to roadkill. Follow me on Instagram at @HappyRoadkill. I’ll begin moving my stories over there. Maybe. Unless you want them kept here? I just don’t know what the future holds. 2017 may just need a roadkill blog.

19 thoughts on “What a Homeschool Mom’s Therapy Looks Like.

  1. Not fitting for this one (unless she is still there and you can stage another pic) but how about with a beret and paintbrush: Pablo Picossum!

  2. She looks like Pamela to me. And the stories are half the fun, so either keep them here or launch a spin-off blog!

  3. Oh, Rachel, you crack me up! Please leave them the stories here, but I’ll visit your Instagram too. You are so funny and so creative. I love the books/book props and the appropriate captions. I bet half the fun is dodging the cars as you do your photo shoot. If I were you, although tense in dodging the traffic, I would probably be laughing so hard. We don’t have possums where I live in the west. I was surprised at just how big they are. It looks like a small dog! How about Stew (for Stewart) the Student.

    1. Thanks so much! I wouldn’t say it is “fun” to dodge cars, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. And yes, possums are HUGE! They’re basically R.O.U.S.’s from The Princess Bride, but they’re actually marsupials, not rodents (fun fact.)

  4. I tried to figure out why they die on hills, but only discovered that 94,000 people die of snake bites each year, but possums can help because they eat plenty of poisonous snakes and might hold the key to antidotes.

    I never knew I’d love roadkill so much.

  5. Please keep them here! I needed this. We went back to school on Monday after two weeks off. I think your possum is the teacher, since she had multiple grade levels of material. ;) Her name could be Mrs. Possum Pi. For multiple reasons…

  6. Don’t move these please! All the queasy stomached haters can just skip these.

    Schooled Sally, Wrong Way Rhonda, Road-Kill Rhoda…

  7. Nooooo! Leave them here!!! It is the perfect distraction, as you know.

    Meanwhile with my unexpected foot of snow outside, I completely understand your frustrations. We haven’t had “normal” in over a month and I’m not sure when it’s coming back.

    And I would be interested in your roadkill motivation studies. Also why they never cross where the crossing signs are (mostly deer but other species too). Are they all rebels?

    1. I have much to learn about roadkill. Also how do so many of them end up on the side of the road? Do they crawl back to safety to die in peace? Or do people swerve to hit poor unsuspecting non-jaywalking animals?

  8. I dont do instagram so please keep them here! I need some good roadkill stories in my life. I’m not good at coming up with names but maybe some reference to Alice Cooper. You know, “school’s out for-EVER!” Haha! And here’s a fun fact for you: Alice Cooper received an honorary degree from Tyson and my college and spoke at our graduation. AND sang that song! Ha!

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