Saturday, July 01, 2006
We Almost Missed It
Yesterday we were all headed out to dinner, my husband, me, our daughter, Leslie and her husband, Jeremy. The THREE dogs were on the deck, where they'd been banished to. Austrie, the shepherd mix, was intently watching the woods behind our house. When Austrie comes to visit it's always fun to watch her watch. We have quite a collection of creatures who visit us. She is still looking for the chipmunks she saw in our woodpile last summer. Yesterday afternoon I'd seen a female deer walking through the woods behind us. I wondered if she might have left babies for a bit of a break. Even mother deer need a breather now and then.

Our son-in-law, Jeremy is an enigma. He has such a love for nature, the outdoors. He'll also shoot just about anything that makes the mistake of standing still too long. I can't see anything within inches of my face to save my life, but can see about a block away very clearly. So Jeremy and I compete to see who spots the wildlife first. In our backyard woods or on the road. Austrie stood there long enough we knew something was up; Jeremy went to the glass door and looked. Sure enough, there they were. A doe with her TWO spotted fawns. They were nursing as she stood there patiently waiting. We keep binoculars in a drawer in the kitchen for moments like this, or for when we happen to have a pileated woodpecker or hawk visiting. Or my favorite groundhog I've named George. Or a flock of turkeys during mating season.

Standing there watching this moment, it felt like a quiet gift from God. The woods behind our house gets so thick with leaves this time of year we can barely see our neighbors. They reappear when fall arrives. The leaves almost hid them. As the two babies nursed, their mother gently groomed them. Guess you could call that multi-tasking: bathtime and supper at the same time.

With Sarah having a newborn, and spending much of her waking moments feeding little Addison, and Leslie about to embark on motherhood, it felt amazing to stand there and take it in. The mother looked at us intently as we quietly crept out onto the deck. She tolerated our presence as long as we didn't venture down the stairs to the yard. I know later this summer we will see these two little ones playing chase up and down our creek. Mom will be somewhere nearby, watching.

Moments like this make the mortgage worth it. They make the old windows and high utility bills seem trivial. Jeremy didn't say a word about how big these babies would be when hunting season arrives. He's about to become a father for the first time. He knew - some things are sacred. Watching a mother caring for her newborn twins is one of them.

  posted at 11:25 AM

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    Girl Raised in the South

    I have a deep, abiding love for full octane coffee, sewing, knitting, quilting, reading, cooking, gardening, God and my family - not in that order.

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