I’m fairly new here, so maybe we’ve met and maybe we haven’t, but I know we share a connection to Glen Rose, and I suspect we have something else in common too. I suspect that no matter who you are, it’s sometimes hard to be optimistic.

Imagine cleaning every square inch of your kitchen, washing dish after countless dish because you saw a mouse scurry out of one of your cabinets. In that moment it’s hard to think about anything besides how gross mice are and how inconvenient it is to do so much extra cleaning. Finding a trap still set, with the peanut butter gone, does little to lighten the mood.

It’s in moments like that, however, that I try to reorient myself and look at things from a different perspective. Usually, when I’m rolling my eyes at frustrating circumstances, there’s at least a little something in there that can make me chuckle – especially since I work with children.

In the mouse scenario, it was thinking back to the discovery of the rodent that helped me laugh through the less pleasant parts.

Picture this: there were 10 teenage boys in the house. They’re all spread out, engaged in a variety of activities, with a couple of them cooking. I was supervising. One of the boys pulled open a drawer, screamed and slammed it shut. His scream brought the rest of them running, and they crowded into the small kitchen.

I don’t think they knew whether to be curious, scared or heroic.

First they started peeking into the drawer, trying to get a glimpse for themselves, but careful not to open it too far, for fear of the mouse jumping out at them. After their cautious looks yielded no mouse, they pulled the drawer wide open, shocked that there was no mouse to be seen.

I suggested that perhaps it had gone into the cupboard below, so they repeated the process, this time finding the mouse right away. They screamed; I laughed.

It was at this point they decided to arm themselves. Off they ran to grab whatever shoes, brooms and sticks they could find. Resembling an angry mob, lacking only torches, everyone agreed they were ready to open the cabinet and kill the beast.

On the count of three, they opened the door, and the fattest, slowest mouse I’ve ever seen ran around the perimeter of the room, past every boy, with zero threat of being struck. The second that mouse was on the move, the boys began screaming and running in every direction, their toughness quickly forgotten. The mouse made it all the way to the fireplace in the next room and disappeared. Perhaps even more impressive was that one of the frightened boys ran all the way to the next house over.

Mice are awful, but tough-guy teenagers are hilarious.

I’ll be back next month, with another story that has challenged me to look on the bright side and will hopefully bring you a smile.

Jes-c French is a Somervell County resident but a Colorado native. While she spends her days caring for children, she’s also a Master Gardener volunteer and a lover of nature. Contact her at jescfrench@gmail.com.