A couple of Sundays ago the kids and I were visiting my parents. As I sat in their living room with them, one of my children came running into the house and asked what to do with baby birds that have fallen out of their nest onto the grass. Between the three older children, me, one ladder, a leap of faith on my part (I couldn't quite reach the nest unless I climbed the tree and stretched just a little bit farther...), and four pairs of gloves while Grandma supervised, we accomplished a heroic act. We saved two ugly, featherless, fresh out of their blue egg swallows without touching them.
We were all fairly grossed out and disturbed by the experience but puffed out our chests like superheroes. Yay. Good deed. Did the mother bird return and care for them? Don't know. Don't care.
Today I ended up with 9 children at my house, only three of them were mine. One sat down on the toilet and forgot to tuck things in so he peed on my floor and wall. His sister let me know. She's four and proudly announced that telling a grown up about the direction of pee was her job. I cleaned it up. He returned to announce he had to go potty again. I told him he already went. "I have to go poo, now," he explained. I redirected him to the front door and pointed to his house, explaining that his mother really wanted to wipe his bottom when he was finished pooing.
At about this time, my 15 month old nephew discovered my leftover oatmeal in a bowl on the kitchen table and was busily finishing it off for me, his 14 year old cousin encouraging him. It certainly cheered him up immediately. Who would have thought that cold oatmeal was such a treat?
This is about the time I was informed that the dog had jumped up in the air, caught something and brought it proudly to the gaggle of children in the front yard. A bird. Not dead but definitely broken. I spent part of my afternoon making sugar water and forcefeeding a bird I don't even love and will probably die tonight.
How did I go 46 years without having to deal with dead and dying birds yet this is the defining feature in my life right now?