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Seeing Snakes

photos by: Shannon Jean Cole

My sister-in-law invited us to join in on their family fall photos a couple weeks ago. She actually invited the entire family. We leapt at the opportunity because there are about to be some major changes coming for our family: some good, some scary, but mostly just changes.

It was a damp fall morning in early October, we were running late which isn’t typical for me (even with three kids). We had actually overslept. I have been having a major bout of insomnia and postpartum anxiety and if I’m lucky I will fall into a deep sleep around 4-5 am- thus making the 7am alarm clock of my 3 children all but miserable. Anyway, this morning we all were asleep past 7… so as 7:30 rolled around I jumped out of bed and tried not to stress out the entire family. I have a knack for rushing everyone and blaming our tardiness on my husband (even though I’m the one who forgot to set an alarm.) I was flinging pancakes at my kids, curling my hair, negotiating on color coordinated outfits and trying not to slip and break my foot stepping on my son’s latest trinket laying on the floor. It was a highly chaotic morning, but that is just how our lives have been since having 3 kids.

Well to make matters more chaotic, as I was pushing the kids out of the front door to hurry them in the car, an albino Burmese python was laying on our front door!!

Yes, a non-native- albino burmese python snake had escaped and decided to make himself cozy on MY!? front doorstep.

A loud scream, then an even louder panic attack ensued: the kids were screaming, my husband had just gotten out of the shower and ran out in his underwear trying to assess the situation, our neighbors had come outside - IT WAS A MESS. As if I needed one more push down the anxiety rabbit hole, this was it!!

Our neighbor came over and immediately agreed to capture the snake, take care of the situation, gave me a huge hug and told me to get in the car. What a life saver!

The odd thing is that this wasn’t my first run in with a Burmese python. Three weeks prior, I saw the escaped snake (or its offspring) in a similar spot on my front steps. I wasn’t able to capture it the first time, so I had no idea where it ended up. This could have been the same snake (although, I have to admit, it appeared much larger)-or worse, it was of the off springs. Either way, seeing two non-native snakes in one month on your front door step is jarring- to say the least!

Looking back, I can already see the humor and it does create a pretty funny story. My husband barely dressed, our 3 young kids crying and screaming, and me sweating profusely, asking my neighbor if this meant I was, in fact, cursed. It couldn’t be a good sign or was it?!?

Well, I am not one to typically read into signs or woo-woo type stuff , but lately I have felt an urge to just start listening and observing.

After a little research, I learned seeing snakes can be a sign of imminent transformation or change. How fitting that a lot of things in my family are about to change. In fact, snakes can be a sign of healing or rebirth. How nice would it be to believe that the snakes were actually a sign of healing and needed change for our family- that instead of looking at this as an omen for bad, that it might actually be a sign of something really beautiful to come. Isn't life all about perspective anyway?

These photos will forever remind me of that scary but hilarious morning. They will make me laugh, but they will also make me never forget that I am surviving in one of the toughest seasons of my life. Things may get harder, but that is ok, because I am already stronger for what has happened. I am ready to embrace these new changes in our family with open arms. I am ready to “shed” the old and accept the transformation because I know on the other side is a much stronger, healthier, and happier version of myself and my beautiful family.

with love and hope for rebirth,

the redefined mamma (aka snake charmer)


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