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When Our Kids Are Attacked- Instinct Kicks In

We can all agree. When our kids are attacked, instinct kicks in.

I have a flower box hanging outside of my dining room window and every year I fill it with beautiful plants and flowers. This past spring was like most others in that I planted some sweet seedlings with the intention of marveling as they grew. But this spring was also a little different. As a result of the pandemic, I had more time to watch these little plants. It was fascinating, really. I always say that we can learn a lot from nature. After all, it just does what it is supposed to do. Instinctively.

As time went on, I begin to notice a little bird visiting my flower box throughout the day. After inspecting the box, I am delighted to see that she is building a nest. Piece by piece, the little bird built a home for her precious eggs. I watched as she worked tirelessly for days on end. All by herself. Bit by bit and piece by piece. Motherhood is like that, isn’t it? Tireless work and unending sacrifice. Finally, that little momma lays her eggs. She does not rush. As a matter of fact, it takes her almost a week to lay 7 precious eggs. 

I continued to watch as she tended to those eggs. The motherly instinct really is a wonder, isn’t it? After many long days and lots of careful plant watering-can’t drown the little eggs-I finally saw some cracks. Those baby birds were an amazing source of entertainment with their wobbly legs and wild feathers. Such fun to watch. They were getting very curious and spending quite a bit of time exploring my window box. As a result, I knew it was almost time for them to leave the nest, as all babies do.

One afternoon, I noticed that the momma bird was fluttering around the box in panic. There were other birds attacking her babies! I quickly ran to the window and crouched down to see why these birds were attacking these precious babies. To my knowledge, birds didn’t normally do that. Shockingly, the birds were not, in fact, attacking the babies. The birds were helping the little momma because a snake had slithered into her nest and was eating her babies. And I had a front-row seat for this massacre. 

It took me a long time to get over that. Watching the momma build a home for her babies and then having them taken from her in a blink of an eye. The way her community rallied around her and fought to help protect the innocent. The way she came back to her nest to look for them for the rest of the day. I imagine their smell was still fresh in the nest. Friends, we can learn a lot from nature. The instinct to protect our babies is real. The need for community is even more real. The snakes are out there and waiting to prey. We have to look out for one another. We have to be vigilant. 

I like to think that the momma bird feels comfort that her bird community rallied around her and struck against something far more powerful than they were. There is strength in numbers and those birds knew it. When our kids are attacked, instinct kicks in. After all, if it’s good for the birds, why not us?

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Mental Health Minute

It’s time for a mental health minute. What do you do when:

Everything changes.

Routines disrupted. 

School closes. 

Businesses board up. 

Surgeries are canceled. 

People start to die.

Next, the air is sucked out of the room and panic seeps into that space.

Thankfully, here we are a year later with more light at the end of the tunnel than we have seen in a while. The loss and devastation are widespread and I think it would be tough to find a single person who has come out of this unchanged. Part of the work that I want us to do together in this space is to heal from our hurt. So, from time to time, we will take a mental health minute. I want to check in on your hearts and let you know that I am listening and here for you as we all begin to heal.

So friends, how are you? Let’s talk. Please, drop a note in the comments and check in. Take a mental health minute. I have been speaking out and contributing to the conversation on Clubhouse. It is a great opportunity for community if you feel alone. You can find me @allarewelcome. You can drop me a DM on Instagram if you would like an invitation.

If you are in crisis, seek help.

All are welcome. 

If you or someone you know needs help please seek help without hesitation:

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Elixir

The silent hum on my wrist alerts me to her presence. Hurriedly, I finish up what I am doing and sprint out the back door. She bounds towards me carrying the elixir of life. Thankfully, she has coffee. Not just any coffee, but the coffee that she hand roasts for her small business. Elixir. I am grateful because she blesses me with her kindness almost weekly and we steal moments together connecting over shared stories and her restorative tincture.

To clarify, I have a slight addiction. It became clear to me when Duncan Donuts and Starbucks began tasting burned on my palate. I had officially turned to the dark side. Like tasting different flavors in a wine, I can now taste the chocolate, berry, and citrus in her coffee. We talk as we sip, sharing stories of crazy encounters with employees and clients, the tightrope of schooling children during a pandemic, balancing our careers, and the constant feelings of coming up short as mothers. Sometimes we walk, in circles in the parking lot frantic with worry about parents and vaccines, did you hear the latest Dr. Osterholm Update and feel despair about Variants of Concern. Together we sip and walk and talk and breathe. 

In addition, she believes in community and in the greater good. She teaches her children and runs her business by those principles. Our friendship is not featured on the pages of Facebook or Instagram, it is not played out in combined vacations. It is a Friday evening text asking if I’m okay or me asking about her mom. Above all, my true addiction is to our friendship, for she is my community. Together we are stronger. I have many friends who cheer me on and lift me up from behind the scenes. It doesn’t need to be a public act or overt kindness. For these people, I am incredibly grateful. Foremost, for my friend with the coffee, the elixir of life, I owe you so much gratitude for walking me through kids, the pandemic, small business ownership, and for always being in my corner. Thank you.