04/24/2014 00:00

Outside of my comfort zone

I am not an animal person.  That is not to say that I do not like animals which I consider God’s creatures.  I simply have not found the energy, time or effort for another needy being to be within my care circle.  The whole moving every two years from one base to air force base did not exactly provide the best scenario for pet lovers either.  Moving overseas meant boarding the pooch or pussy for months at a time and then an attempt was made to find a renter that was pet friendly.  Of course I harken back to my childhood for many of my “issues” and there is a direct correlation to my being pet-free.  My mother remains animal-challenged to this day.  She thinks all animals are dirty, carry germs and should be in zoos or in the wild.  If an occasional ant or spider crept into my home uninvited, it was met with frantic screams for removal which usually had my name on it.  Thus when “S” told me that the class was going to hatch eggs as a study in the embryonic process, I was delighted and enthusiastic.  She was going to be part of something magical without any home intervention.  I visited the eggs each day with the same anticipation as the children in hopes of small balls of fluff emerging.  I was sure that the teacher had made plans with a carnivore free sanctuary as the final home of the chick babies.  It was a complete surprise when “S” announced that we HAD to take some of the chicks home ASAP because they could no longer remain in the class.  They had become a bit of a distraction from the daily routine of writing and reading as they chirped for little hands to play with.  Parents were finding any excuse imaginable to avoid this adoption, “We have two, big dogs that will not play nice with the chicks”, or “We are not creating a farm in the backyard.”  I tried to explain to “S” that we had covenants for our neighborhood that did not allow fowl.  She did not budge in her pleas because she did not understand covenants and kept saying that, “this was a life and death matter.”  My resistance was being worn and my husband was not around to oil the armor.  But then I had a brilliant idea.  We had a neighbor who had been grandfathered in for raising some unusual animals.  We often saw ducks and chickens running amuck in the yard.  I visited and simply asked if a new chick would be welcomed in their home.  She then asked how many “S” really wanted and she exclaims, “Three”!  The little one bats her big brown eyes and my neighbor agreed to three chicks.  OK I thought, this was the perfect situation-an afternoon of foster care and then unlimited visitation rights. The teacher already sizing me up as a one child, no-pets-type of parent was shocked when I announced we would take three chirping chicks home.  “S” chose her three and I was asked to take them immediately.  Without a manner of transport, I was given a bucket and no directions for care.  I got home and it became apparent that a temporary means of confinement was necessary.  I ran to the store and the “Pet” lady offered advice on the best diet and pee and poop absorption material.  I poured the cedar shavings into a box, with a dish for water and food and waited for the trade-off later that day.  When I told my neighbor of the plan she asked if I had a light for the night time cold, and a dish that would allow for eating and drinking without drowning.  I was already thinking that a handbook was necessary for this endeavor.  My sister who is the Dr. Doolittle of our family was sending me articles on the care of chicks, knowing full well that I was floundering in my mom duties.  When “S” came home that day, it was apparent that I did not count on the attachment factor.  What was supposed to be an afternoon of love and cuddling turned into a weekend and then a week.  I woke up each morning changing the water and cedar and checking the food feeder while “S” cuddled each afternoon.  When we finally brought the three smothered chicks to my neighbor with the names of her favorite princesses- Ariel, Elsa and Belle, “S” was teary eyed.  Of course, that was last week, a decade in the events of a little one, and it is I who have been the one to remind her that we should visit!   store and the “Pet” lady offered advice on the best diet and pee and poop absorption material.  I poured the cedar shavings into a box, with a dish for water and food and waited for the trade-off later that day.  When I told my neighbor of the plan she asked if I had a light for the night time cold, and a dish that would allow for eating and drinking without drowning.  I was already thinking that a handbook was necessary for this endeavor.  My sister who is the Dr. Doolittle of our family was sending me articles on the care of chicks, knowing full well that I was floundering in my mom duties.  When “S” came home that day, it was apparent that I did not count on the attachment factor.  What was supposed to be an afternoon of love and cuddling turned into a weekend and then a week.  I woke up each morning changing the water and cedar and checking the food feeder while “S” cuddled each afternoon.  When we finally brought the three smothered chicks to my neighbor with the names of her favorite princesses- Ariel, Elsa and Belle, “S” was teary eyed.  Of course, that was last week, a decade in the events of a little one, and it is I who have been the one to remind her that we should visit! 

 

 

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Nani-mommy


Garden Ridge, Texas
78266