A Lesson From a Leaf Blower

Please, as you read this, do not report me to PETA. With that  disclaimer out of the way, let me take you back a few weeks. It's early spring, and I'm cutting the grass for the first time of the season. Feeling ambitious, I drag the leaf blower from our shed to clean the remaining winter debris from our flower gardens and landscaping. The sun is shining, the heavenly scent of freshly cut grass permeates the air, and I'm going for it with the leaf blower. These leaves don't stand a chance. I've strapped the blower across my body, Rambo style, and feel powerful as the engine hums and I restore order to my back yard.


Without warning, I see something peculiar when I blast a tight clump of leaves. Something tiny and furry flips and rolls in the air current. I immediately fling the blower off my shoulder as my heart sinks; I've hit a hidden nest of newborn bunnies. 

I've literally blown a bunny out of its nest, watching it tumble head over tail until it flops to a stop. Immediately, I shift to gears and kneel to assess the baby bunny for any harm. It looks fine. I gently scoop it into my gloved hands, carry it back a few feet to its brothers and sisters, settle it into the nest, and carefully arrange a layer of leaves on top, as if I'm tucking them all in for the night.

For the next week or two, I check on the bunnies daily. They're growing perfectly, getting slightly bigger each day, all tumbled together in a fuzzy nest of adorableness, so I know their mother is coming back at night to care for them. One day when I visit to peek at the nest, it's empty. They've gone. (Or they've gotten eaten by a predator, but this is a feel-good story, so I'm banking on the fact that they hopped away to live happy lives. Trust me on this one.)

I've thought about these bunnies a lot these past few weeks because the situation reminds me acutely of parenting. I've had times when I've metaphorically blown things up in my own house, watching my kids get swept up in my blasting current, having my heart drop with worry that I've done irrevocable damage, quickly followed with the the desire to make it right and tuck them back into the nest. 


The wonderful thing is that our kids, like these baby bunnies, are rather resilient creatures. 

Fellow moms, I hope you're having a fabulous Mother's Day, one filled with sunshine, good take-out food, and maybe even flowers or a necklace made from macaroni. But, in the far recesses of your thoughts, if you wonder today whether you've ever blown up things too much with your imperfections and humanness, take this to heart: your kids are resilient. You haven't ruined the nest. 


Those kids of yours? They're growing well. That love of yours? It doesn't need to be perfect for it to be consistent. Every single day, that love tucks your children in, soothes the rough edges, and helps them grow up until one day, they actually will leave your nest. They'll be healthy, strong, and ready to face the world.


Take a lesson from the leaf blower: we all mess up, blow up, and tumble a bit. That's a byproduct of living, not just yard work. You love your kids. Your kids love you, too. That's what counts.

Happy Mother's Day, dear ones. I hope it's a great one.

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