Survival of the Fittest and an Iron Will

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I have been a mom for almost 26 years.   The start of this school year marks the first time in 20 years that I didn’t load the car up in the morning and drive kids off to school.  I know it sounds strange, but I have always loved that commotion and time of day.  My kids were captured for ten or fifteen minutes and discussions ensues that maybe, otherwise, never would have come up.  But this year, the last two of my four children are now 17 and 15 with the oldest wielding a license and a car of her own.  That time of my life is over now and I already miss it.

I love being a mom, but there are parts of this job, like any other job, that I don’t like.  I hate when my kids are get hurt or become disappointed. I also hate when the cold, hard facts of life slap them in the face. One such incident occurred a few years ago when I received a text message with the picture below attached…

Baby birds are part of being a mom

My youngest daughter sent this message: “I found a baby bird and Spike tried to eat him. He can’t fly.” Spike is our kookyCocker Bichon.  Baby birds are part of being a mom.  They fall or are kicked out of nests. Your children find them and want to save them. We, as parents, wish it were possible but we know the survival rate of baby birds found by children – it is very low.A following text message said that the bird had barricaded himself under the lawnmower. Afraid that the baby bird might be injured by the mower blades if she moved it, my daughter left him, hoping for the best. Past experiences with my older daughters have included: trying to return the bird to its nest (never works), keeping the bird in a box – trying to help it survive (never works either), calling animal control (they don’t care) and just releasing the bird or other such animal at the park.  We even tried to save a baby squirrel once. No luck.

Life is not fair

Like the other baby animals that came before, that last attempt at saving the animal kingdom failed.  It hurt no less than previous tries – as each child has had to find out for himself, the hard way. My kids have learned that life is usually unfair, that the cards are favorably stacked for the big, bad world, that sometimes it just doesn’t matter how hard you try or want something, and that life – our own lives – are pretty sweet. Success in work and life is usually an uphill battle, but one worth fighting.


We face survival of the fittest every day. Inflated egos, no-talent hacks, new regulations, increasing taxes, faltering or failing businesses line our days. How you choose to survive a fall is solely dependent upon you. There are those around who may attempt to assist but if you are incapable of fully standing on your own, there is little chance for enduring to a fruitful end, past the scrapes, bruises and monsters.
That doesn’t mean it’s impossible – I’ve been put back in my nest a couple times. The actual ability to survive must be coupled with the will.  An iron will.




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