Questioning Reality
I suppose it is the time of year, the fill out the questions on college application time of year. If you have a child of that age group, and I do, you can’t help but answer the questions in your head. Not for them or about them but for you.
Question # 1.  List your strengths and weaknesses.
My first response, Hell no. you don’t need a head start on my weaknesses. Besides, they don’t translate well to written form. Strengths, I can lift a 50 pound bag of rabbit feed. Weaknesses, answering questions like this. Really what does this question tell the reader of the applicant? It could be all lies. It could be they confuse their strengths for a weakness and vice versa.
Question #2.  Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Did I write I want to live in Iowa, Texas, Washington and California? I will work in hospitals for 5 years. I will put my daughters in Irish dance and 4-H. I will have daughters. No, I didn’t. It never would have occurred to me. Life just happens no matter how you plan it. Two weeks ago when I went out to clean rabbit hutches I didn’t expect to be sitting in a pet emergency hospital for 5 hour but I did.
I probably wrote something along the line of I will be a teacher in Outer Mongolia bringing the light of learning to the masses, or some such thing, most likely not. I probably stared at the page thinking this question makes no sense, therefore I will not answer it, and left it blank…I have been known to do that.
 Is this kind of thinking a Strength or weakness?
The application reader would think, this kids a zero.
 So where do I see may self in 10 years. Well, hopefully, ten years older, handling whatever comes my way, with my strengths and weaknesses, whatever they are, to the best of my ability, whatever that is.


When did it happen?
Last Saturday she was riding her stick horse around the backyard in the rain.
This morning she wants help with her hair.
She is wearing lip-gloss.
She hands me a slip of paper.   The annual fashion show held at her middle school needs student models.
“ I 'd of  like to do that.” She mumbles into her book bag.

The signs were there.
She started brushing her teeth without me nagging.
She asked her older sister if this top went with those shorts.
She complained that her jeans were too short. 
She asked for a razor because she looked like a “woolly mammoth”.
These things never bothered her before.

She sits beside me as we drive to school.
She is wearing Levi jeans and a 4-H tee shirt that reads “Got Rabbits?”
She runs through her imitations of farm animals,
The chicken, the sheep, and the cow.
For just a moment she is back, the rider of the stick horse.
She turns to me and grins,
Sunlight sparkling on the glitter she has brushed on her eyelids. 

If this were a movie, the next scene would be my daughter and her stick horse
Silhouetted against the setting sun.
She slaps the horse on its stick flank, telling it to run free.
As it gallops away toward the horizon, she raises her hand in fare well.
Pan the camera back.
There I stand not to far behind her, in the same pose.

The counter is cluttered with mixing bowls,
 jars, lids, ladles, and bags of sugar.
Steam rises from a boiling pot on the stove
filling the kitchen with a sweet fruity smell.

Complaints I voiced to my mother
 Now come from my daughters.
Why do I have to stir so long?
The steam is hot on my hand.
I am tired of standing.

“Remember the Little red Hen?”
My Mother said alluding to a child hood story
 about a hen that did all the work of making a cake,
 her companions who did none,
still expected to share in the finished product.

“If you want to have jelly on your bread you need to stir.”

 My daughters arrange the jars in orderly rows on our kitchen counter.
They smile at the “ping” each jar makes as it seals.
Light reflects from the gold bands around the top of the jar, the yellow contents seem to glow.

 Preserve. To keep alive or in existence; make lasting.

Parenting With a Carnivore at Your Door.                               
 Green eyes lock on the nest tucked up under the patio cover. 
 Daddy finch flutters from perch to perch chirping in alarm.
 Mama finch takes three nervous hops to the left, two to the right.
 She swivels her head,
 One eye looking up,
 One eye looking down,
 At whiskers,
 Kitty’s tail twitches a greeting.