Yesterday was a day of mixed emotions. Our oldest daughter started high school.
Though I’m confident with how we’ve raised our daughters thus far, I was still fairly stressed about it. I stayed up late the night before worrying and doing stupid things to mask my worry; hand-washing our kitchen floors, matching socks at 12:06 am, stress-eating ice-cream, etc. I thought about her all day yesterday–which is unique. Not that I don’t think about my family during the day. I do. But the day moves fast and work is busy. I’ve gotten good (maybe too good) at compartmentalizing my life. Today was a change.
On my bike commute home, my mind was drifting into Memory Land. Memories of “her firsts”. First words. First steps. First lost tooth. Some firsts I had to challenge myself to accurately recall the details. I was wondering what her next round of “firsts” would be (hoping they would be positive memories later). I was hoping she’d make strong, courageous, kind, healthy decisions.
Right around that time (as I was screaming through town in the bike lane) something caught my eye. Out of a cluster of trees from a neighborhood came three baby deer. They were coming right towards me (and the street) in attempt to cross four lanes of traffic during Golden’s “rush hour”. This probably would have been fine–it’s a fairly common sighting around here and they likely wanted to get to the lush, green golf course grass on the other side. Buuuuut if it’s one thing I’ve learned in my 40 years it’s that human beings are idiots. If the speed limit is 25 MPH, that means you must go 42 MPH. If you see an animal in it’s natural territory (which we’ve invaded), you must try and eradicate it with a gun, construction/development or your car.
I hit the brakes, instantly swerved a bit, rang my bell and loudly declared “Oh! HELLO, BABIES!” All three froze and one by one they seeming bounded back to the trees with ease. I tried to motion to surrounding motorists to slow the hell down, but of course, none of them saw these buttery brown babies with their soft white spots and just kept on rage driving to the next round-about.
As I pedaled on, I got the lesson.
Their mom was nowhere to be seen. They were on their own (at least for the moment). They made the right decision to turn around and try to cross later. Whether this was prompted by pure animal instinct, sibling/peer pressure, or a sub-in mom dressed in mega-bright colors, ringing a freakishly loud bike bell, and gesturing erratically, I’ll never know. That’s beside the point.
The point is: our girls are getting older. They are losing their spots. Though we are not with them every second of the day, they’ll survive.
Lastly, I hope if another parent, caring neighbor, or friend encounters them and it appears they are about to make a really dangerous decision, I hope you’ll ring a freakishly loud bell.