Living out our American dream here amongst the hundreds of acres of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Riesling, surrounded by even more natural beauty and wildlife affords us some truly awesome experiences in the days of my family’s lives.
Before moving out here, however, my very first dream realized was that of becoming a mother.
Nothing in this world or my own wildest imaginings offers up the amount of happiness and complete joy that mothering my children does, and every single day is a cherished experience with my little loves.
Even in the throes of the most challenging of times of illness or injury, emotional battles and lesson learning I find grace, beauty and magic for which I am humbled and grateful for.
My Mother’s Day gift to anyone who has ever lovingly mothered any living thing is this very special story of how my little daughter learned about the birds and the bees in the safety and comfort of our own home. I give you…“Rabbits Touching Noses“
“Mommy, can I please have a bunny? I really want a pet that I can care for.” Was how it started.
I told my girl that I would look into it, and from his bedroom I heard my little son holler, “Meee toooo!!!”
I explained that we would start with just one, maybe, and that too many of ANYTHING is, well, too many, especially when it comes to rabbits.
“Mommy…When, I mean, If…We get a girl bunny and she decides to have babies then we WILL have more than one!” Was the thoughtful, excited response from my daughter.
“Oh sweetie, if we do get a girl bunny, we would still need a boy rabbit for there to be babies. Remember how I told you that we don’t have chicks developing inside the eggs our hens lay because we don’t have a rooster fertilizing them?” “It’s exactly the same with rabbits.”
GULP! My heart skipped a beat. I froze in my spot, wide-eyed, somehow thinking I might just be able to disappear if I tried hard enough.
My intuition yelled at me, “THIS IS IT!” then in a whisper, “the sex talk.”
“Okay Mommy.” said my little girl’s voice sounding more innocent and tiny to me than at any moment in her ten years of life. “But how does the boy rabbit fertilize the egg of the girl rabbit?”
Yep, there was no hiding. No invisibility. No play dates or place we had to be in five minutes or less, and for her sake, also not a time to change the subject.
This is when I took a deep breath and reached for the book I have been keeping close by and which I purchased for this very reason. I turned to the section that simply and clearly defines, describes and illustrates R-E-P-R-O-D-U-C-T-I-O-N.
The section began with plants and moved naturally to animals.
My daughter is an excellent reader. She has been reading and comprehending very well since she was three and a half years old. She voraciously consumes books, so I knew this would be the gentlest way to broach this subject.
When she finished the animal reproduction page, complete, (as our good fortune would have it), with chickens as the main illustrations, she then said, “But how does the sperm get to the egg?” “ Do the rabbits touch noses or something?”
“Keep reading honey.” I said, standing close by, but not too close, because I really didn’t want what I could feel as my “weird face” to be the intense visual for this moment that belonged mostly to her.
Her expression was priceless, and then…”But this isn’t how you made US!!!”
“Yes. Honey. It is.”
“But you said you grew us in your tummy!”
“I did, but daddy and I both made you.”
“Oh GROSS!!! He did that?!?” “I am NOT doing that to have babies!” “I will adopt!”
I then moved in closer and looked into her eyes, so happy to see definite change brewing as she moved from little child to a more informed and mature child.
Above all at this moment, I was relieved with what I didn’t see…fear.
I knew I would accept a little disgust as her reaction, and perhaps a little confusion, even shock, but not fear. So many children live in real terror in every moment of their lives with sexual abuse, in millions of cases, the evil reason why, so it has always been deeply important for my own children to understand the true definition of fear, and know that in our world there is no place for fear, and it never serves us.
Being a mother and creating a family is a dream fulfillment for me and I am driven by thoughts of how to give my children the important tools they need to enjoy their childhood, while leaving the most perfect bread crumbs for them to find their own nourished way through life’s forests.
I knew this sex subject was coming and I have, of course, thought about how I would react and how my child might react, but the thing I focused on and prayed for was how I hoped the person who would walk with baby steps, through this door with my child, would be me.
I didn’t want what I had experienced, which was when I was in the 5th grade and the classes were separated into boys and girls and we watched a film strip that covered too much and too little all at once.
Certainly, I did NOT want another kid to tell, or worse yet show, my kid ANYTHING about sex, like the older brother of a neighbor showed me during a game of “spin the bottle” when I was a 3rd grader. This kind of education is a major reason why I home school my children.
Children are not important to me because they are “our future.” They are important to me because, they ARE. I just love to be in their presence, I consider it a great blessing and privilege. Babies and children are so fascinating and funny to me.
My little girl and my son have taught me more about the greatness and joys of life than any book or movie, person or people in this world. I want my little loves to grow up as slowly, deliciously and naturally as honey drips of its dipper, learning all that they can learn in safety and comfort.
It is true that I shelter my children.
Yes, I keep ugly information and images from their eyes and brains. I admit to being overly-protective of them. I am obsessed with my need to give their bodies and souls excellent nutrition. Yes, it’s the very least I can do, because they are my treasures.
Raising my children the way that I am is a choice, and it’s an awesome responsibility that I take very seriously. Some people say and will continue to say perhaps I go too far in devoting all of my time and energy to my children. My concern, though, is not what others or my children will ultimately think of the way that I mother, but what my children will think of life.
Will they embrace all of the possibilities with both arms?
Will they love everything deeper?
Will they give freely of their time and consider living in some way in service to others or nature?
Will they find real joy in real experiences and not become bogged down and their shininess become darkened by the need to acquire “stuff” or possessions?
A beautiful childhood makes beautiful people is a personal philosophy that I hold to, and when days like today present themselves, I know that it’s a gift. Maybe my daughter will adopt. This would be wonderful. Maybe she can help mend a broken, abused child’s life because of the gentle way she is learning about vitally important subjects like sex.
Whatever their outcome as adults, I am not worried. For now, the most important thing my little daughter has to concern herself with is building the hutch for the new bunny that was born to our very good farmer-gal friend recently, and will be joining our family in about three weeks.
Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers today working hard to create their own American dream life for their families.
Shellie Croft spent a year sharing her American dream stories on 8 Women Dream. You can now find these stories on her blog Shellie’s Consumption.