We've adopted a hamster (my camera battery is charging, but she looks like the above). I was going to say that we were fostering it but, nope, we've adopted it. A friend's dog discovered it in her yard. It had probably got out or may have been abandoned. As cute as she is, and as fast as she is, I'm going for the got out version of the story. This friend mentioned needing a home on her facebook a while ago but I did not consider it at all. We had been researching pets before we got the guinea pigs and rats and hamsters were on the low end of preference due to their biting habits, nocturnal behavior, and all around unsocial behavior. Still, as I thought about it, it was needing a home and I had a cage, bedding, food, an extra water bottle, a wheel, a hide out, and three kids crazy now about rodents. So, I said I would take the fur ball in. After all, what was one more!?
Okay, so she is cute (pictures coming soon). She is very cute. She was so scared yesterday that she did this little growl at us. She needed time. Then, we left for a few hours and came home to find her up and anxious to see us. She let the kids hold her, although she does not stay still like the guinea pigs or rats. She was very sweet. This morning she has bitten the kids a few times but, honestly, I can't blame her. If you can't verbally say "I don't know you and I've had enough for now", then teeth will work.
In the last 24hours we have had quite a few people hear about all the rodents we now have. Those who didn't know what our Christmas brought us, usually are appalled and try to be nice and sociable by keeping their opinions to themselves, especially regarding the rats. It makes me wonder what has changed in me? Why am I so okay with this? Why am I loving it? Have I turned into a weirdo?
The fact is, I actually also want a bird right now, for me, in the living room. I'm LOVING the nature around me. I love that the kids get home and want to go get a fluffy critter to say hello to. I love that they all are so ecstatic about the ends of our veggies and we get the joy of watching their little mouths as they eat. I'm loving it all. I've wanted a bird for a year or so after shocking myself by discovering that I love bird watching. I use to think it was the dumbest thing adults did, but now it calms me.
I feel like I've grown down. Yes, I meant it, I've grown down. I've returned to that excitement in childhood that longs for nature to be part of my life. I was reminded of this yesterday when we had the hamster at church because we had to pick it up between services, and all the little ones were flocking to us. There is something in us that loves that. As a child, pets were highly discouraged for me and I lived more like a grown up then. Now I'm happy to grow down.
I don't have the energy for large pets, nor the money or room but a having all we can of maintainable small beings is really adding to our happiness as a family. I don't know how, it's just magical. It makes us lighten up, have some laughs, and feel like we are meeting a need for one of God's creatures.
Yes, my kids still want dogs, kittens, bunnies, and probably more and I do have many things I have to say no to but it's been a delight to do what we can. It must be the delight of the garden and walking with the animals that is still in us all.
I don't mind growing down.