Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Mothering


Yesterday I spent the day with my youngest daughter Laura. It was her 22nd birthday and she really wanted me to come up and be with her. I brought cake and presents and we went out to lunch and had burritos. A good time! Which led to me thinking about motherhood. Does it ever really end?

Laura is on the left in this picture. Laura and her friend are holding the baby bunnies.


I am thinking now that no, mothering never ends. Laura is pretty independent for the most part but she really wants me as a regular part of her life, which was something I'm not sure I was anticipating. Andy and Beth I hear from every now and then, but Laura is still my baby girl I hear from almost daily.

It's been interesting watching her struggle to balance college life with a steady relationship and the ability to do adult things, like budget her income and pay bills, plan a menu and cook. Things you must learn to be a good momma.

Back in late May Laura called me in a big panic, her boyfriend's dog had gotten into a wild rabbit burrow in their backyard and had eaten several of the bunnies and killed the mother. The bunnies were so little and young that they still had their eyes and ears shut. She didn't know what to do with the rest and it was all Help Mom Help!

Mom to the rescue! I packed up powdered kitten formula and the tiny baby kitten bottles I use when I foster motherless kittens plus the critter tote with a soft blanket at the bottom and left for Laura's house.



When I arrived Laura was still in that sort of frantic state, afraid of the bunnies, afraid to handle them, afraid they were doomed for death, afraid, so afraid. But once I removed the bunnies and started removing deer ticks and feeding the bunnies Laura and her friend instantaneously switched from fear to delight. I got to see the stirrings of nurturing and motherhood in each younger woman. It was fascinating for me to watch because I've been listening to Laura proclaim for years she's not having any children at all.

So is it a learned thing, motherhood? Or an inborn desire that must be activated? I'm not sure.

After leaving fundamentalist far behind I'd dumped the notion that women are created/born with the desire to nurture, mother, and care for. Now, I'm not quite so sure. I mean, it was obvious there in both young ladies, but not activated until I came on the scene to show them that the bunnies weren't frightening, they needed human help. Reminds me of the passage in the New Testament where Paul tells older ladies in the church that they are to instruct the young ladies. I guess that's still needed in this time.


I ended up taking the bunnies home to feed and care for since Laura had a heavy classload with finals upon her. After bringing them into our home I was surprised to see how into the bunnies and their care that Jim was, how nurturing and caring, how motherly. Not only Jim but my male cockatiel was the same way, he'd always come down off his cage during feeding times and be all over those little bunnies. Perhaps caring and nurturing is just inborn inside all of us, but the religious only attach it to motherhood instead of a universal desire to care for the less fortunate.

The bunnies didn't make it. They lived another 20 days before dying one by one. I tried everything, changing the makeup of the formula, giving them probiotics, increasing the feedings, consulting with local wildlife rehabbers and consulting with my vet. They were so young when I got them that I knew from my years of raising various babies that the odds were stacked against them. But I had to try. They would have surely died had I not taken them in. I had to try and give them a chance.

Please visit my other blog that deals with the dangerous theology of Fundamentalism & Evangelicalism - True Love Doesn't Rape

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