Duck à la Tutter….

30 04 2009

One beautiful warm sunny day last July, the family decided to load up our quads and have some fun out in the boondocks. As luck would have it, it was also huckleberry season, which, to everyone in the our family, means stuffing yourselves full of those purple sweet gifts from heaven until you just can’t eat any more…. We do bring the buckets, but there’s hardly been a time when we’ve actually just picked enough to eat later in a pie…. We end up looking like berry vampires, with purple fingers, stained teeth and lips.

We had a really fun time, riding up past some old mines behind Ainsworth Hot Springs, stopping to explore. Our goal was Loon Lake, a tiny mountain haven, surrounded by millions of huckleberry bushes. We were all hot and dusty by the time we reached the lake. We went and mooched some R&R off the cabin’s dock. It was absolutely perfect for swimming.

We noticed all these cute and fuzzy ducklings darting around the shallows. So we laid on our tummies and watched the baby mallards do their thing. Unbeknownst to us, a killer was lurking. Madness clouded over his sanity, murderous desire overshadowed common sense and with a splash, Tutter plunged into the water, and before we could even grab at him, he had the baby duck in his mouth.

Oh, there was screaming. Elisabeth was expressing her horror by crying “OH NO, OH NO, OH NO!!!!!!” Nicholas was shouting at Tutter, I was screeching at him to STOP!!! Dan jumped in the water and hauled the dog up onto the shore. I didn’t witness the Canine Beat Down Of Epic Proportions, as it were, as I was too horrified to see the wee duck floating face down in the water. I plunged in and picked the baby up. Knowing full well that in my hand was a bit of fuzzy cuteness, lifeless and mutilated, I swam back to the dock and heaved myself up and opened my hand. Elisabeth was sobbing, Nicholas was grim, I was deeply saddened and really, really pissed off at my stupid dog.

Well. That little duck shook his head, droplets of water flinging onto us. He looked about as if to say “Holy shit dudes! THAT was a close one!!!” We all laughed through our tears.  After looking over the duckling, to make sure he was okay, the kids each got a turn to hold him. We marveled at his cuteness, his black and yellow fuzzy markings and the miracle that we had been witness to. Gently, we released him into the water, and he zipped off into the marshy edge of the water.

I can only imagine in his duck world,  quacking to his siblings about the time he almost died in the jaws of a monster.

Tutter sat up on the deck, morosely watching us. It surprised all of us. He listens to us all the time. But the killer wolf instinct came out that day.That instinct said “Fuck all of you, I’m getting me some duck for dinner”. I did have to forgive him eventually. But not before I told him that I hated what he had done. He looked at me with his soft brown eyes, and apologized in his doggy way, tail down low and  licking my hands. And so, I forgave my dog.quadding-at-loon-lake-025

And so it came to fisticuffs…..

19 04 2009

So yesterday, my daughter decided to kick my son in the balls. Boy howdy, she got in trouble for that one…. Not only that, last week, she pushed my nephew down the stairs. I’ve been racking my brain about what to do about this. You see, when I was explaining to her that it’s never a good idea to shove someone down the stairs, because, you know, it just might hurt them, she was adamant that it wasn’t her fault…. Through her torrent of tears, she tried her hardest to convince me. It was NOT her fault. At all. I truly had to bite the inside of my cheek to keep from laughing. It also wasn’t her fault that she kicked Nick in the nuts. Apparently some unseen force moved her leg for her. Now granted, the two boys she threw the beat down on are infamous teasers… Both of them know how to push her buttons. Elisabeth doesn’t have much a sense of humour about this, and I can’t say I blame her… They tease, cajole, scare her on purpose and generally make her life a living hell just for shits and giggles. They have been known to exclude her, to gang up on her and you know, just generally be typical normal boys…. Now, after we talked about the dangers of kicking boys down there, and pushing someone down a flight of stairs, there was a wee tiny part of me that was tremendously proud of her for not taking anymore of their shit. On some level, those boys sort of deserved it. I would have preferred a general sort of smack upside the head or perhaps even, and I’m going out on a limb here, considering the temperament of my daughter, ignoring them or even just walking away..….

She does need to acknowledge her part in it… No matter what, she did it, and it’s unacceptable. But isn’t it always hard to recognize your own flaws? Gently and softly, I helped her realize what she did wrong. And when she did that, I think it surprised her how much it hurts to accept a negative part of yourself. She cried and I held her, my daughter. My fierce strong girl. My passionate fiery Mini-Me. I praised all her goodness, and I held her as she wept about what she did wrong.

Above all, my love for my youngest, my baby, my daughter, my heart, rose to new levels. Mothering offers new challenges every day. Allowing them to discover their own flaws and lows leads directly into helping them love and honor their wondrous traits that make me giddy with joy and deeply humbled by the common miracle that is our children. We gift these people to the world. Elisabeth, in all her passion and excess, is a spiritual girl, very smart, and unbelievably kind. She cares so much for others, she often brings their sadness into her heart. She stands up for her friends and won’t back down from a confrontation. She has an unbelievable memory and a gift for making us all laugh. And so, as we deal with this temper and her reaction to rage, we shall walk together, she can hold my hand, while we both grow and learn the right ways to deal with our problems.

Lost and Found

16 04 2009

Do you ever have moments in your life when nothing is apparent? I have struggled to find what has been bothering me lately. I am feeling a bit low on my spectrum, which for me, is unusual. Generally upbeat and optimistic, I can usually find the brightness of a dark day.

Slogging through the last few days, mired down with a heavy heart, I have been questioning the pessimism that is dancing within me. Am I unhappy? Am I dissatisfied with my life? Am I impatient for something unknown to happen? I find myself on the verge of tears, catching me off guard, like being stung by a wasp in the winter time. I do not like feeling morose for no reason. It eats at my spirit, interfering with the love I wrap around my family on a day to day basis.

Last night, at yoga, we asked ourselves this question: “How am I feeling right now?” It became so intimate, all of a sudden, that I fought the urge to leave! This class became for me a therapy session. In quiet, I listened to my heart. I stilled my mind to hear the whisper. At first, I knew the answer was there, but I really didn’t want to hear it. I wanted the voice to tell me something different. I thought I needed an easy answer. That I was worried about money, that I was mad at my husband.

The whisper I heard was me. It was painfully obvious and I didn’t want to hear it. It was me. My fabrification of importance. My self-indulgent misery for made-up reasons. True, I am always seeking a fuller existence. I realized that I had forgotten how to live. It wasn’t a slap to the face awakening, but a gentle kiss on the forehead, admonishing me for self-pity. There are no problems in my life. There are no obstacles set in my path that I feel are too large to navigate. There is me. And my choice to live with an open heart. I was choosing to not listen to the wondrous child within, closing the door upon the blue pearl in my soul.

I awoke this morning and opened my curtains and saw brilliant blue sky, snow covered mountains. I heard the chickadees calling, the robins preaching. I felt the soft, sweet, cool air upon my skin. I felt a stirring of love, washing away the guilt of self-indulgence.

I awoke this morning. And felt myself wake up.