Of Mice and Mental Energy
If you teach or parent children, you have encountered a mysterious and powerful lobby. This shadowy force is interested in shaping the attitudes of children as young as 3 months old.
They are too smart to meet or even to name their so-called movement.
They have infiltrated all English language enterprises that publish children’s media, and have controlled them for decades.
It is well past time they stepped into the light and answered for the damage they’ve done.
They are the Pro-Mouse Lobby.
They have convinced kids that mice wear cute hats, go to Sunday school, tote adorable backpacks, feel jealousy and love and rage and grief and joy. It isn’t disgusting when mice raid your kitchen. They probably are operating on noble motives! Those who would oppose these sweet creatures are the real villains!
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Beverley Cleary’s Motorcycle Mouse
Aesop’s The Lion and the Mouse
An American Tail
The Tale of Despereaux
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
The Great Mouse Detective
Mickey and Minnie MOUSE
We could go on.
Whoever these people are, they are not and have never been homeowners.
What is an adult to do? On the one hand, your children now think mice deserve to share in the bounty of human labor. On the other, mice gnaw wiring until fires start, their droppings transmit hantavirus, and they destroy your food without eating all of it. It really is us or them.
Mom killed Mrs. Cutesiebuttons!
My read? This is an insidious plot to undermine a child’s trust in her parents!
Well, actually, I love most of those mousy stories, even if they create difficulties. The Redwall series is violent but amazing, and Fivel Mousekewitz makes me cry. I'm not in fact interested in purging mice from literature, just from built homes.
Also, I'm currently mouse-free (let not a curse fall upon me).
I do want to reflect upon a child's trust in her parents. I know trust is paramount, and yet I struggle to confect it. I left out Santa and the Tooth Fairy; I try to give them as much of the truth as they can possibly handle when they ask difficult questions; I try not to make promises since pledges are such slippery things. I strive to be a good example of life in Christ.
How can this work if I am such a mess myself? It's hard to curate your image when you live with someone, although I understand Priscilla made sure Elvis never saw her without perfect hair and makeup.
It's likely that going to Confession with my children on a regular basis is going to be more effective than launching a Rodent Reality PAC. Even if I could fake perfection, I should acknowledge my sin and fragility full-on in the grace of the sacrament.
Sacraments are usually the answer, as it turns out that they are God's Plan A for a post-Ascension world. Grace can come in any conduit God chooses - His love is extravagant - but He has made it clear that we should look first and foremost to the sacraments, i.e., those signs established by Christ to make real what they symbolize through the works of His body on earth, the Church.
I can't stop the flow of mouse propaganda, I can't stop all my personal sins, I can't stop my kids from seeing me pre-coffee. But I can stop relying on myself and cast my cares upon Him.
And I can entrust my children to the One who is trustworthy above all others, and Who, it must be acknowledged, also made mice.