Today has been a day of emotions.
Apprehension and Dread. Our hen Freckles wouldn’t move from her outdoor nest last night despite our pleas, bribes, and prods. I woke up worried that she’d either be a pile of feathers (attacked overnight while out from the protection of the coop) or that she would be egg bound. I had read that if she were egg bound, she’d need a warm bath and a vegetable oil vent massage which I would hate administering as much as I’m sure she would hate receiving. Fortunately she made it through the night alive but she was drenched this morning from overnight rain showers. She was scratching around for bugs by the time I went out to feed her. Ultimately I think she was just a little broody and the rain washed away her hatching intentions.
Gratefulness and Relief. Archer has been coughing for the past couple of days. Last night he was particularly wheezy so I called to schedule an appointment with urgent care first thing this morning. After the doctor checked him over she mentioned that she should send him on to the ER if she were just looking at his breathing rate, which was much too high, but that his other vitals were not as abnormal. After receiving steroids and a double breathing treatment, he was a new man.
Boredom and Annoyance. I don’t do well with nothing on the calendar. I like to be busy and after a few days staying in due to rain, it was beautiful out, but we needed to stay in so Archer could recover. We wasted away most of the day watching too much TV I had serious cabin fever.
Extreme pride and Happiness. It was really already past “brushing teeth time” but in order to salvage a little piece of the day I encouraged the family to go on a “family walk” (with Archer in a stroller). Violet wanted to ride her bike as usual. When Ben added air to the tires the training wheels got knocked about rendering them ineffective. Ben said he could either try to fix them or take them off. Without hesitation Violet announced she wanted them removed. I couldn’t believe it was happening. Teaching Violet how to ride a bike had been on my to-do list for probably a year but I kept waiting for the perfect circumstances… great weather, trip to a nearby park with lots of big flat safe areas to learn, after long talks about readiness, etc. It turned out this monumental milestone of childhood wouldn’t happen according to my prescribed notions, but naturally and spontaneously.
I suited Violet up in protective gear while Ben took the training wheels off. Violet talked about how the girl around the corner, who was a year younger, already knew how to do it so she thought she could handle it too. There was a flicker of worry when Violet first sat on the bike. She mentioned that she wanted them back on, but after a little encouragement from Dad she was game again. Ben talked about it being easier with speed and the basics of stopping. They headed down the street together while he held her torso. He was barely holding on that very first time. They changed directions and headed back towards the house. I hope I’ll never forget the feeling I experienced when I watched her take off from him, Ben waving his arms to show me she was on her own. I could feel a mix of love, happiness, pride, a sense of honor, and everything else good rising up from my chest and bubbling over in my eyes until I had to blink away tears to see how it ended. Violet is a super star. She didn’t fall once. She wanted to keep riding over and over until well after dark. She is so excited and proud. What a day!