“Mom, I found a baby rat lying on the ground.” Abruptly pausing mid conversation, I offered up a suggestion knowing as it left my mouth that it was a futile one as the little creature, they held in their hands, had its eyes still closed and was obviously less than 2 weeks old. ”Did you see the hole it came from, maybe you should put it back” and when confirmed that this was indeed impossible due to being unable to find the hole and a large number of dogs playing in the immediate vicinity, my shoulders sagged.
Knowing how the rest of the afternoon was going to play out, I still allowed myself the luxury of having an internal whine session. “I have so much work…can’t I just let nature take it’s course!” “Why is it always us who ends up finding these creatures.” “It’s a rat!” This whine session plays itself in my head within seconds and then…
“Tuck it in your work glove and keep it warm…let’s get it home.”
The sad end to the story was that this little one died in my daughter’s hands, but not before buying $30 in baby formula and $10 for batteries for the food scale so we could weigh it, as well as tearing the house apart for a syringe small enough (we found one…who knew!…the argument against minimalism).
This little moment got me to thinking though (a recurring theme in this blog…the result of too much ruminating and coffee) is it not these little actions that say the most about me and what I value. It’s one thing to blog about kindness and then snap at a cashier because the lineup is too long, and lectures to my kids on patience don’t carry much weight when I’m sighing heavily or tailgating a new driver.
Thankfully though, I do believe I am the sum of hundreds of little moments which gives me a little leeway when I fail and fall short (often) of who I am learning to be…nothing like a bit of failure to add a bit more shine to the wins.
Please don’t think that I expect you to go out and rescue baby rats. We each have our different journeys, and baby rat saving may not be yours. Others near and dear to us would have made a different call regarding the rat baby and that would possibly have been kinder.
What I am saying is that right now in my house, I have baby formula, a syringe and a fully functioning food scale as evidence that one time I managed to override my selfish tendencies and act in alignment with my values, and I’m feeling good about that….though very sad for the baby rat.