Friday, 26 April 2013

New Baby

Our former foster son and his wife have adopted a newborn little girl and are naming her Aspen Nicole. I have claimed her as my granddaughter, of course, and now have two grandchildren named after trees. If I were better at knitting, I would pour so much love and tenderness into the wool that she'd feel it encompass her when she wore it...but I'm lousy at knitting. And I'm too far away to see her, touch her, hold her. So I'll just declare my feelings to the general populace on this blog and send happy thoughts over the miles to the proud new parents. Our foster son is a sweet, special guy and I am so happy he has this opportunity to enjoy fatherhood and pass his gentleness down to this child.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Life doesn't always work out

I'm sorry to report the baby rabbits didn't make it. When I peeked in on them last night, all were dead but one, probably frozen. And this morning they were all dead, and one partially eaten - raccoon maybe? - and I was left with the sad task of cleaning up. There are a lot of nasty things we're called to do as mothers, from wiping noses to catching vomit, but the removal of small dead animals is particularly unpleasant. And I've had to do it with unfortunate frequency in my career.

I think maybe it's such a troubling thing to do because mothers, by definition, are all about life and giving life. We nurture, we fix, we comfort, we feed, we rescue. And when we're left helpless, unable to fix the tiny thing that is just too small to rescue, it goes against our natures. All I've wanted to do today is curl up on the couch and hug my puppy. But life has to grind on, and so instead I spent today teaching, talking, listening, setting the table, going on with regular things. I know the mother rabbit will no doubt have another litter within weeks. I know there will likely be no shortage of rabbits to chase out of the garden this summer. I know this is how life - and death - have happened since the beginning of the world. But I am still heartsick.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Mama's ripping her hair out

Smart Mother Bunny has returned to the nest and reblanketed her offspring with more pulled-out fur, and my clever husband has rigged up a sort of roof to keep the worst of the rain out, so all is well. They should survive the expected 20-degree drop in temperature this Saturday.  It's a heck of a way to run a family, though, if you ask me. Choose a vulnerable spot in a wide-open yard, at the base of a hill, in the direct path of the dogs, in the rainiest month of the year, plop your naked babies in, and hope for the best!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

We've come full circle

I started keeping this blog last year upon the discovery of a nest of wild rabbits in my garden. Well, today we've found another nest of them, this time at the side of the house. Very tiny and new, their eyes still closed, just mini bundles of soft brown and black. As far as I can determine, these are the fourth generation since the last ones. And so here I am with the same dilemma as last year -- heavy rain forecasted for tomorrow, and worries that the bunnies will freeze tonight (my dog scattered the protective fur blanket around them before we realized what he'd found - but luckily no injuries as far as I can tell). Do I rig up an umbrella over them?  Try to regather the scattered fur from their mother? Knit them tiny sweaters?

No, I'll do what I did last year; I'll pray for their safety and leave them in God's hands...which is where we all are anyway, whether we realize it or not.