apparently, tucked into the dried grasses next to breck-the-aspen-sapling and surrounded by fallen leaves and mulch, the mama bunny tended the nest for about a week. it was the first time we had had a bunny in the backyard. squirrels and chippies and many birds and even a fox, but no bunnies.
there was a day we saw the bunny for the first time. she hopped and scooched under the deck, hiding. we saw her at the base of the birdfeeder, munching. and we saw her nibbling on the green sprouting up around barney.
and then, there was the day we realized that this bunny, that hopped to and fro in our yard, especially around dawn and dusk -scooting away from dogga and under the back fence – was building a nest. we didn’t see her leap a binky into the air – all four paws off the ground – but we imagine she must have been about-that-happy.
and then, the day we peeked under the grasses to see two tiny bunnies scrunched together, their little bunny-bodies breathing quickly, rising and falling, rising and falling. life is amazing, isn’t it? we went on high alert for these sweet little babies and, for the next week or more, mostly went out with dogdog to be sure they were safe.
and then, the day that i looked out the back windows behind our metal frame headboard and saw a tiny bunny hopping along the fence and heard a noise. i ran through the house and out the back door to see dogga carrying one of the bunnies in his mouth. he dropped the kit, who scampered off unraveled, as soon as i said “drop it!” so i was relieved. but still. i felt a sense of parenthood for these tiny creatures. “keep them safe” became my mantra. i celebrated their little lives and kept tiny pompoms close at hand as they left the nest and went to explore the world.
it’s impossible to keep your children safe. you do the very best you can while they are in your care – growing up – but they go to school, to sports, to music lessons, to playdates, to after-school jobs, to stores and concerts and parties. you can’t be all those places, so you have to learn how to let go a teeny-weeny bit. they begin to drive and you have to learn how to let go a teeny-weeny bit more. and then, they go to college maybe or move out maybe or both. and you let go a teeny-weeny bit more. and then they move away and your heart breaks and soars, both – even though you will only talk about the soaring – even though they know the breaking part. and you let go a teeny-weeny bit more. ahhh. it’s not easy, is it?
our daughter drove across the country last week. from the east coast to the mountain west. by herself in ivy, her suv. i remember my sweet momma calling me as i drove long-distance, alone. i both loved it and didn’t love it. i tried to remember this as my beloved daughter drove, not wanting to be annoying, as is so easy to do. i sent her texts cheering her on and held big space for her as she traveled. she was constantly on my mind. i know she knows that. “keep her safe,” i implored the universe. (and how many times have we all said that about our children, i wonder.)
she arrived without harm or incident, like the bunnies running along the back fence and zipping underneath. i am grateful. i can only keep her close in-heart.
and each and every day – my mantra for my girl and my boy is the same – “keep them safe”. my pompoms are at easy access as they explore the world. they are all-grown-up. the nest is empty but i quietly binky – like ecstatic bunnies – every day thinking of them.
read DAVID’S thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY
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