Courage in all forms

Written by Amanda Coop

“I’VE already taken the bins out,” my hubby said as he saw me heading towards the door with a
bag of rubbish.

“My hero,” I replied. “Bin Toad is still alive and well.”

I’d been told by Mr 5 that we should stop calling Bin Toad that.

“It’s not a very nice name,” he informed me when he heard me referring to the ugly critter that had taken up residence under our wheelie bin.

“Well, he’s a big disgusting cane toad, who lives under a bin,” I explained. “So, I don’t know if he really needs a nice name.”

“It just doesn’t sound cute,” Mr 5 persisted. “Can’t we just call him Geoffrey?”

“Well, he is absolutely not cute,” I said, “but sure.”

So, and my apologies to all the human Geoffreys out there, we now have a cane toad named Geoffrey who lurks under our wheelie bin.

I’m never going to kill Geoffrey, not because now that he’s got a name I’m developing affection for him, but because I’m petrified of cane toads.

Possibly irrationally so, but I can’t help it. I can barely bring myself to walk past a dead one, let alone a healthy hopping specimen like Geoffrey.

Was it too much to refer to the hubs as a hero for allowing me to avoid another interaction with Bin T– er – Geoffrey?

Probably, after all it’s not quite the same as dodging bullets on the front line of a war or dragging an unconscious housefire victim to safety.

I doubt future generations will stop and observe a minute’s silence to show their gratitude for my hubby’s toad-busting style. But he is a bit of a hero to our family, working almost around the clock since he became the sole breadwinner last year to keep us fed and clothed and subscribed to Netflix.

If a hero is someone who shows courage and strength of character during great adversity, then my mum is the other hero in my life.

No, not for putting up with me under the same roof for 18 years, but for picking herself up and carrying on when she became widowed at the age of 30 with two kids under 4 and one more on the way.

About a year later her youngest brother, my uncle, died in a freak work accident. As a child who was too young to remember any details, and even when I became a teenager, I had no real appreciation of just how awful it must have been for her.

Only as an adult and now a parent has it dawned on me the strength she must have needed to provide the
relatively normal childhood we, and our subsequent extra two siblings, had.

She has dealt with so much but she’s a never-ending well of patience. She doesn’t complain about her lot in life even though others seem to whine about every trivial issue.

And did I mention she also had to put up with me under the same roof for 18 years? Yep, she’s a hero, alright.