i have a (peace-full) problem...

With saving helpless creatures.  If you are scared of critters. Well.  You should stop here.  I apologize to those of you who may have been looking for recipes.  Maybe you could just close your eyes & scroll down?  


'Cause I just can't let a huge, gorgeous spider egg get smashed.  I can't. It's a miracle.  Did you read Charlotte's Web?  A miracle.  


But I do know that I go too far.  


The boy's warned me there was a black widow where all the kids were "fishing" for lizards.  And, there she was.  Holding a - no joke - 3/4" white ball.  As soon as she saw me she disappeared, so I couldn't dispose of her.  I do catch them, I should tell you, but not while the kids are watching.  And I take them far, far away.


But I did grab her egg & stuck it in a tall plastic cup.  My thought was that I would bring it down to the creek that afternoon.  But I forgot. And...

The next morning it had hatched.  About two hundred of them, right up to the top. Without a lid.  Ummm.  Oops. The boys thought they were soooo cute.  

Then life got crazy, so I found myself keeping baby black widow spiders for the next week, opening the lid & "airing them" by spinning in a circle twice a day.  No, I am not crazy.  I am a peace activist.

A lot of families keep scrapbooks.  We keep Conscious Objector/Family Values files. What are these?  An album full of photos of mentors, elders & friends who work for peace.  Fliers & schedules from events they attend that promote social justice.  Pictures of the kids doing things that honor the Earth, themselves & their communities.

If they choose to go to college, that's great, we've got the records to help them.  If they want to travel the world, they have a global community of elders, aunties & uncles to house them.  If they want to join the military, can do that with our blessing.  If they get drafted & feel like they object to it spiritually, then they have their CO files.  This is something our country supports, as they don't want soldiers unfit for battle...

So, with me as their mama, that's really always a possilibility.  I want them to know that while I am not the perfect example of peace, fiery wife & mama that I am, I do my best.  And I will go out of my way to honor life.


After a week of "baby-sitting,"  all the while wondering when they were going to turn on each other, actually, we got to the "Bug Museum."  Which had a note on the door, saying they were closed for the week.  I really had to evaluate what the heck I was doing.

And, this is not a funny post.  But feel free to laugh at me.  I'm okay with it.  I laugh at me lots.


We did some research on the flap display outside the door, confirming this was a goofy project.


And the boys thought they'd like to reproduce this display at our house, with our very own set of critters & creatures.  So, we will.  All those red tabs open up to show what lives in each micro-habitat, with a few facts about them.  

Just then a janitor came by & opened the door, revealing a bunch of grad students hunched over the stick bugs.  "Here!" I rushed in, "Babies.  Baby black widows.  They're a donation...from the boys."  I flashed my biggest smile & the boys gave a little wave.


Then.  My compost got turned & we discovered 7 babies.


Look at them. I have no misunderstanding.  Those are baby mammals. With little heart beats, closed eyes, wrinkled skin, & mewing for their mama.  I couldn't let them go, even though our friend had tossed them behind a log pile to perish.  Yes, they are rats.  With closed eyes, they are under 5 days old, but with ears detached from their heads, they are more than 3.  So four days old, that meant they were born on Mother's Day.


We gathered them up & put them on a soft t-shirt in a protected planter near the compost pile.  The boys were awed to see they could barely move, but somehow each found a little sibling to cuddle up against.  And their mama came to get them & put them in a safe place.  

I just cannot let a bunch of nursing babies go.  Look at them.  I bet that mama was so relieved to find her 7 babies.

What's normal is to kill everything that's a danger to us, or a perceived danger.  What's natural, at least at our house, is to honor life to the extent that we can.

I don't dare compare children to bugs & vermin.  But kids do feel akin to little creatures.  I hope it all comes back 'round to me in the moments when my boys are being dangerous.  That life will honor life & keep them safe & sound.