It is rare that I look back on a day and say, “Good parenting today, Melissa.” Mostly I feel like I’m just getting by on fumes and promising myself I’ll do better tomorrow. I’ll get back to this in a moment.
There’s a postscript to the story of the paralyzed squirrel. We ended up finding him. When Chubs and I were squirrel-hunting the other morning, a few neighbors saw us. You know that part of your brain that tells you, “hey, we really shouldn’t share this with other people because it makes us look crazy?” That part of my brain is busted.
I told everyone I saw about the paralyzed squirrel and it didn’t backfire! Later that day one of them found him!
I ran to grab a crate while New-Summer-Nanny called Washington Humane. Then, New-Summer-Nanny, the girls, our neighbor and her kids and I ran and scooped him up in a towel. We put him in a plastic container inside the crate and waited for help to arrive.
We all hovered around him trying to help. Princess Roundhead ran inside to get nuts, carrots, apples and water. We were outside with him just waiting. He got stuck in the towel we attempted to help him get free. It didn’t go so well.
The animal rescue people were madly efficient. They came within 15 minutes and whisked her away, saying they refer these cases to the wildlife division.
I know. They probably euthanized her. I don’t want to think about that. I’d like to think that she’s scooting around their offices with little crutches or a tiny squirrel wheelchair. (It can happen! Google it!)
After the girls went to sleep that night, I thought about my feelings for animals. I didn’t grow up with pets or any sort of love for animals. My parents viewed animals as another mouth to feed and something to take care of.
But, as we all do, I always look back on how I was raised and what I want to do differently with my own kids. One of those things is making sure the girls learn for compassion for animals. Seeing the concerned looks on their little faces worrying about the squirrel, it registered that I accomplished that. I gave myself, our friend and New-Summer-Nanny a virtual high-five. We taught the kids something important the other day - something that matters.