Note: The Gecko Chronicles are not posted sequentially, but you can find them all batched in a tidy little group at the left.
THE GOODBYE GECKO
I initiated the Great Gecko Exodus with a simple statement to my family:
“I’m thinking about getting rid of the gecko.”
The reaction was not one I was expecting.
The kids couldn’t have cared less. “Really? Why? Ok.” Not much more than that.
But my husband surprised me: “Really? Why? Really? Really? Really? Why?”
It only took that much dissent for my sons to jump on the Save The Gecko bandwagon. We agreed that the care and feeding of the gecko would revert back to the boys. They would scoop the poop, fill the water, flick the lights, change the sand. They readily agreed. I think it lasted three days.
“I’m sorry,” I finally told my husband, “but the gecko’s gotta go.”
In the back of my mind rolled around that line from The Little Prince, the one where the Fox is about to leave the Prince after he went ahead and instructed the Prince to “tame” him.
“’Men have forgotten this truth,’ said the fox. ‘But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.’”
From the very first time I read that book, I was never completely sure what Monsieur de S-E meant by “taming.” If he meant teaching a wild creature not to bite you on the finger when you picked him up out of his tank – even if he was very, very hungry – then the quote would really have no bearing on my husband’s relationship with the gecko.
But if it meant: that which you tend takes up major real estate in your heart, then I knew I was asking something much bigger of my husband than simply helping me load the gecko tank and the heat lamps into the car one day.
But, unlike me, I guess my husband wasn’t hearing that line in his head at all. Because he said, “Ok.” And for that one little moment, I began to feel free.