I don't like snakes. I can handle spiders, rodents, large bugs, but I tend to panic around snakes. Unfortunately, Virginia has more snakes and bigger snakes than northern NY does and even has a couple of poisonous ones. Great!
So a few weeks ago I took a "baby boot camp" exercise class which happened to be at a park. The girls stayed in the stroller for most of the class, but at the end they were allowed to get out and play. So Kaylee ad Karissa had a great time playing in the sand volleyball court along with some other kids who were close to their age. I was about 10 feet away from them while I chatted with some of the other moms after class when I noticed Kaylee started running towards the woods. What was she after? A snake. (this kid has no fear). Thank god it was faster then her. But this thing was big....we are not talking python big, but at least 5-6 feet long and about 2 inches in diameter big. That was no garter snake.
So what do I do? Calmly walk toward Kaylee, call her name and pick her up while making sure Karissa was safe. What did I want to do? Scream, freak out, cry, sprint to the car with a child under each arm, anything to get out of there.
Now being new to VA, I figured the natives were used to snakes and wouldn't get too nervous about a snake slithering near their children. I didn't want to make a scene. So, once I had the girls in a safe spot away from the snake (who by now was probably safely in the woods herself) I calmly mentioned to one of the other mothers that I had just seen a large black snake over by the volley ball court. Her response?
"OH MY GOD, HOW CAN YOU BE SO CALM, WHERE ARE MY KIDS, WE HAVE TO GO!!! I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU DIDN'T FREAK OUT!"
So, what I have learned: it is ok to freak out about snakes in VA, not everyone finds them commonplace, and keeping my children away from them is probably a good idea.
It turned out to be one of the non poisonous snakes, but still...yuck.