Farm Life

Farm Life

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Boy And His Frog And A Monkey In A Tree

    I love raising four boys. It's fun and adventurous. It's rough and tumble, and we can do wild and crazy things! Boy stuff. I love that! God has blessed me greatly! But, I am the only female influence in my home, and I am in charge of the emotional kind of thing. I hug and hold when I know it hurts inside. When a knee is scraped or an elbow is bleeding, it always helps to run to mama for a kiss, and a hug, and then some patching up. I believe that the hug and kiss help to heal better than the bandaide does. It's the hug that stops the crying, not the bandage. You distract with chatter while you clean and cover the wound, and before they know it, all is better. They turn and run back to doing whatever it was that got them into the hurt in the first place. It's a boy's logic after all. This thing that hurt them needs to be conquered, so let's try it again! But, what about their little hearts? Little boy heart's hurt sometimes too, and this is much harder to patch up. So, what is a mama to do? First, I try to avoid heart break if I can. Who wants to go through that? If that fails, then there is hugs, kisses, and mending up. Then? Distraction. The same method I use for physical ailments. A good example of this very heart break happened just days ago for my five year old son. While I relaxed on the lawn on Sunday afternoon, he was doing little boy things, which never involves sitting still. Amidst running his fastest, and riding his bike through the giant mud puddle, he happened upon a little toad. He ran to me wearing an excited grin, and asked, "can I keep him?!?!" Why is this always the question? With four boys, I have heard this asked often. My answer is always the same. "No. They need to go back to their family." Frequently, I have been begged to keep mice, frogs, salamanders, snails, moles, snakes, fish, baby rabbits, baby birds.....and the list of wild creatures stretches to no end! The reason I refuse to hold a wild creature captive is because no wild thing does well in captivity. If we set up a home, and work hard to create a wild like environment, study what they want for supper, and diligently tend them, inevitably they will die. Sooner, rather than later. I know this little friend will not last, and heart break will be just around the corner. As a mom, my instinct is to protect these little boy hearts from sadness. So, I prevent. My son used his afternoon to play with his "best friend". He named him "Peaches" and raced him across the lawn. He introduced him to our dog, Maggie. He patted his rough back, and inspected his little toad feet. All the while I warned that he would be letting him "go home" soon. When the afternoon grew late it was time to say goodbye, and as he let his friend go, he cried. Mama hugged.

The next day Peaches came back! I have no idea why this toad would subject himself to another day of "playing" with a five year old, but it looked like the same toad to me! A few hours of play ensued, and then another "goodbye". But this time, my son wasn't sad. This frog was going to come visit him every day! How excited he was! Mama was surprised. The next morning my son scrambled outside to find Peaches and embark upon a new day of adventures. He quickly returned, stomping through the house until he reached daddy. With a trembling lip and a mad frown, he managed to say, "daddy, you ran over Peaches!" A burst of tears and a loud cry followed as he buried his saddened face into my chest while clutching the remains of his "best friend". My husband stood in the kitchen with a bewildered look on his face. He mouthed the words, "who is Peaches?!?!" above the head of our grieving son. He was horrified when a tear slid down my cheek. What had he run over? Who's world had ended? What was going on? Were just a few of the questions running through my poor husband's head! Our son turned and ran outside. I quickly caught my husband up on the details and he immediately felt bad. He didn't know there was a frog named Peaches lurking in the driveway, waiting for a little boy to come play! My tears were for the hurting boy that struggled to deal with the loss of his friend. The frog was laid out on our steps, and then checked on throughout the day by my little boy to see if he was indeed still dead. Heart wrenching to watch. But then, there is still distraction........
       Later that night, my husband and I heard a loud crashing noise outside. It was obvious that a tree had fallen. Apparently, a rare tornado went through, and sent a large tree toppling towards our home! The morning light revealed a huge poplar tree lying across our front lawn. My husband didn't even notice our new lawn accessory as he hurried off to work. (Talk about slowing down to smell the roses! How about slowing down to see the jungle upon your lawn!?!?)

Soon, a five year old nose was squished against the glass and a surprised and excited expression followed. "Wow! I'm going to go play in the tree!" he squealed as he pulled on his shoes as quickly as he could. Meanwhile, I made plans to get out the chainsaw, and remove "the mess" from our lawn. As I ventured outside with the task on my mind, I stopped and inspected the beauty that engulfed my yard. My son excitedly played amongst the tree tops and called to me through the canopy of leaves. I returned for my camera.

       He climbed high and peaked through the green. The leaves hung down and around constructing a jungle like atmosphere. It mimicked a cave, and created a natural jungle gym. This was the distraction! I decided that today is not the day to disassemble this fun and dreamy playland. I plan to sit inside it's lush confines and have a mini escape from the day. When else can you linger in the tree tops? Touch where the birds sit, and walk where the squirrels chatter? Today, the thoughts of a dear departed friend are not the topic. Tree tops and flittering leaves encompass our minds, and it's happiness once again. Arms laden with greenery wrap around us and secure our play place. So, we'll lay "Peaches" quietly to rest, and today we'll squeal like monkeys as we leap from limb to limb.


  1. Nice!! Lovely story! But I can tell you, having one myself, that little girls are just the same. Maybe getting a little girly now at 11, but climbing the tree anyway! ;)

  2. Poor boy! But wonderful mommy healing his heart!

    1. Jen, just as you know, that's the hard part of being a mommy. Watching them be so sad! :(