Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Kids are resilient. My previous post described the cute little bunny that Caroline and her friend rescued from the basement window well several weeks ago.

Caroline just adored this creature; each morning she'd waken earlier than most children during summer vacation and stroke, feed, pamper, and coddle her new bunny. But as nature would dictate, one morning after I'd returned home from running errands, Caroline's countenance said it all: The bunny died.

She had told me how she found the poor creature, and how she even tried to revive it by giving it mouth-to-mouth resuscitation through a straw. Poor child. I pictured her using a straw in a vain attempt to breathe life into this creature; her efforts, unfortunately, were useless. Her tears fell hard, and even though I never really wanted that rabbit in the first place, it was very difficult for me to swallow the lump that formed in my own throat. My eyes watered slightly, not because of the rabbit's death, but because of the effect the rabbit's life had had on my daughter.

But she buried the bunny in the back yard, and Mystie, our dog continues to sniff that area and is at a loss as to what could possibly be there.

Now, weeks later, the bunny is a distant memory in Caroline's mind. Her focus has returned to where it had been before the bunny ever came into her life, namely, her time with friends, playing her guitar, and teaching her puppy silly tricks.

I'm sure that she will always remember the bunny that she rescued from the window well, and how she held it and tried to keep it alive. For more than a week, her love overflowed onto that little creature, and even though it's gone, her memories of Thumper will most likely linger for years, if not for the rest of her life.

And you know, I don't think that I'll soon forget it either. It made me realize how something so seemingly insignificant can impact a little girl forever.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Friend or Foe?

Meet our newest family member. Yes, Caroline and the sweet girl next door found this little guy along with his two siblings in the backyard yesterday. One of the tiny hares hopped away (lucky for him) and the other two were homeless, and according to the girls' account, motherless. It appears that the two lone bunnies are now officially, as far as the girls see it, adopted; one was taken in by the neighbor, and the other by my daughters.

I know, I know, it's cute as a bunny, and it couldn't have a sweeter disposition, but LET'S FACE IT - this creature will grow up! And he'll become the menace that tortures me incessantly.

Last spring, right around this time of year, my beautiful pink - and nearly four-feet high - star lilies were just on the verge of blooming, their buds almost ready to burst with color. Like a mother who nurtures her newborn baby with tender care, I watched and watered those lilies meticulously, my anticipation growing with each passing day. One morning while I sipped my coffee at the table, I looked out of the kitchen window and spotted it - a rabbit - most likely this little one's mama, (or aunt, or cousin or sister, or ... you get it) stretching up on her hind quarters, nibbling at the robust, juicy leaves located at the base of my lilies! I flew out the door and clapped my hands vigorously, but it was too late; she had chewed the stalks raw. The leaves had been sheered off from the ground up to about twelve inches of the plant. I almost cried, literally. And I'd hoped that not too much damage had been done. But, I was wrong. Most of the buds never had a chance to open, at least not completely.

So now what's a mom to do when her ten-year-old walks into the house wearing a smile larger than life, cradling this bundle of joy in her tiny hands? Upon seeing his little whiskers twitching in a way that just highlighted his innocence, I, of course, immediately experienced a hair-raising flashback of my gorgeous phantom lilies that never saw the light of day. I tried so very hard to explain to Caroline that bunnies need to be outside - and they need to be free - to roam with their families and friends.

My logic and reasoning didn't work.

"But Hoppity will die out there!" she squealed. Hoppity? She'd already named it; the die was cast.

After I again explained to Caroline that the bunnies eventually damage plants and flowers in my garden, she thought for a moment and then cried, "Well, we can put a shock collar on it so that it won't go too far into the street or into the flower beds!"

Of course! Why didn't I think of that? Let's do all we can to keep the bunnies in our yard, including using behavioral shock therapy!

And here we are, twenty-four hours later, when another irony pops up: would you believe that we are actually planning to make a trip to the pet store to buy one of those small water bottles with the little metal tube that attaches to the side of the hamster cage (which she drug up from the basement) - just to make his little life more pleasant!?!

And all this for a rabbit who is just waiting to devour my beautiful flowers once he's free.

Any advice out there? Please! Help!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Hamster's Wheel

Don't underestimate the power of a hamster.

At 7:00 A.M. my alarm clock's annoying buzzing sound jolted me from deep inside a wonderful dream, whereby I instantly woke up my family members, insisted they ate some breakfast as they appeared from their bedrooms, rushed my girls out the door so that we'd make it to church on time, after which we headed to Target to pick up a gift for my daughter's art teacher who recently had a baby boy, scarfed down lunch at Subway with my family, drove my youngest to her art class with the baby gift in hand, then drove my other daughter to horseback riding lessons, where it occurred to me that we were out of toilet paper so I stopped to pick some up, then I raced to get my girls after their respective lessons, and FINALLY returned home to chop up nuts to take to an ice cream social at church scheduled to take place in less than an hour.

I don't know, but I always thought that weekends were supposed to be a bit more relaxing than this, right?

Has anybody ever feel like you're the silly little hamster forever spinning around in that proverbial wheel? And getting nowhere?

Well, at least I'll have the chopped nuts to eat, so I guess being a hamster isn't all that bad!

Besides, there are some days when moms must be that hamster. Without moms, who would be there to get all the things done that ultimately lead to a happier nest?!?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Twenty Miles

Twenty miles. That's how far I rode on my bike this morning with three other women who live in my neighborhood. Our journey commenced at 8:30 A.M. and we finished up about two hours later, feeling tired, our legs somewhat shaky, but definitely empowered.

It's funny, but as I rode along, I was a child again. I could hear the birds singing cheerfully overhead through the trees, see the squirrels darting quickly across the lane in order to get out of our way, and smell the sweet scent of honeysuckle bushes that seemed to be bursting with their yellow color and intoxicating aroma. The overall picture reminded me of when I was a ten-year-old girl, peddling my bike and humming to myself, and wondering what I'd be like as an adult. Where would I live? Would I get married? Have babies? As a young girl, I'm sure I'd never thought it possible for someone at my age to ride a bike for twenty miles!

We stopped only briefly, and only twice, to quench our thirst. Then it was back to cycling again. Like a jet engine, the time just flew by. The warm wind that whistled past my ears and tried to evaporate the droplets of water along my forehead was a much needed bonus as we pushed forward in the rising temperatures. While peddling hard and feeling the small bumps in the road that popped up almost without warning beneath my tires - keeping me ever vigilant and always on my guard - I was that little girl again. Back then, I held on tightly to those handle bars.

And I held on ever so tightly today, too.

Today was so incredibly freeing, and uplifting, and it provided me with a gift: to laugh with others, to enjoy the scenery, and to just let go for awhile. For a period of time, this child was without any cares or worries. And you know, it felt extraordinarily good.

As we finished up the trip and were just a few hundred feet from our starting point, the cars which had been parked in the parking lot became larger with each peddle stroke. We'd completed our twenty miles, and even though there were some bumps along the way which made me grip the handle bars a little tighter and slow down at times, I'd made it. The journey was over, and instead of feeling like that child who wonders about her future, I was the grown woman who cherishes each moment. Twenty miles may seem like an impossible distance to travel, but as I prepare for the days ahead, I know that there will be the warm breeze that I'll need to propel forward and face the challenges. And I'll stop for a moment at intervals, to get my bearings, and more importantly, to rehydrate my parched and shaking soul.

The wonderful thing is that I'm ready to get on that bike and do it all over again someday real soon, one peddle stoke of life at a time.