There are many times that I look around myself in perplexity and ask "what do I want to teach my kids in this situation?". The past week has certainly been one of those times. It feels like the hits just keep on coming.
It all started with a sick ewe (we have four female sheep bred to lamb any day now). Unfortunately, she gave birth late in the night to two little ones that didn't make it. She seems to be recovering, and we are grateful for that. In the meantime I bought a bottle fed lamb to put on her, hoping that she would accept it as her own. That hasn't panned out and it seemed to have been affecting her recovery so I have changed plans and bottle feed little Minnie instead. The only thing more cute than a baby lamb is children feeding one a bottle :)
So far one other ewe has lambed unassisted and her little baby seems to be okay. I thought he was sucking on his own but he got somewhat weakened before I realized he wasn't finding the teet on his own. Such a learning curve. Although I have grown up around animals and listened to farmer talk all my life, doing is certainly different than planning and reading. There is no substitute for experience in most things, and in caring for animals in particular! He is getting the hang of things but I still go out several times a day to make sure he is getting his mama's milk.
Sadly, in amongst the bottle feeding we had a bunny rabbit up and die out of the blue. Such a tragedy for a child to lose his first pet. We have no idea what went wrong with Bingo, except that we put the two in their own separate side-by-side hutches and the little guy quit eating and died before we knew anything was amiss. Funeral arrangements are being made as we speak.
We have had unusual heat and wind. We had a few days in a row of 28C, which for May is unheard of. The spring wild fire season is getting more intense every year and the city of Fort McMurray, Alberta, has all but burned to the ground. Almost 90,000 people have been evacuated and most if not all have lost everything. It's difficult to comprehend. Although "Fort Mac" is not that close by distance, it is a community much like our own in the it is largely driven by the oil and gas industry. The people there had already faced challenges and it's hard to imagine the scale of their collective loss. In a devastating accident, a 15 year old girl and her cousin died in an accident while being evacuated. Unfathomable.
All in all, a week like this really put things into perspective. At the first sign of trouble with the sheep I began to question my ability to care for these animals and thought seriously about giving it all up. But some calls to the vet, help from a farmer brother and the ever-ready support of my mom and Husband have helped get us through a rough patch and much, much learning ensued. It's an analogy that can be applied to most any situation. When things look bleak, and they sometimes will, you have to search inside yourself for a reason to keep on. For me it is always, always to show my kids resolve and perseverance and steadfastness. I will not always be there to guide them but if I can I will leave them an attitude that will get them through hard and scary times. I was uncertain what to do so I called for help. In the future I will be better prepared because of this experience.
As we see communities and families reaching out to help each other in their hour of need there is a lesson in it for my kids and myself as well. Where there is darkness there is also light. Sometimes you just need to be the light yourself and share it with those around you.
PS there are no pictures with today's blog because in the heat of a windy day my lawn chair tipped over and spilled my cell phone into the kiddie pool out on the lawn. I must say, being unplugged from it has been refreshing and I only get another because it is more convenient to text with Husband when he is away. But the lack of distractions and yahoo-news-time-wasting has been sweet relief. I vow to leave the new one on a shelf except for designated times where I check for urgent messages. Life is so much better without being tied to a gadget.