Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Flung into Surrogate Parenthood: Not One of Them is Forgotten

Our 10-year-old, Mr. Cool, went exploring in the mountains yesterday...and came home with two newly-hatched baby quail. At first I was mortified. We went through the whole rigamarole about how mother birds will reject their babies if they detect the smell of humans.... But it turns out there was no nest anywhere in sight, no siblings, no parents. These baby birds were either orphaned or abandoned, and he brought them home to rescue them. So we reluctantly said okay. And then Mr. Cool set out to take care of them. He took his job very seriously.

We did a bunch of online research to help him figure out how to feed baby birds, then Mr. Cool brewed up a special mushy concoction that only a mother could love, and offered it to them in a little dish. When the birds wouldn't eat...he further solved the problem by asking for a syringe. (After reading this post you know I happened to have one handy.) We detached the needle and it quickly became an ideal baby-bird feeder. Here he is, feeding the fluffy little guys by hand, through the syringe (he had to do this about every 45 minutes, until they finally went to sleep):

At one point I offered to take him to Blockbuster to rent a movie, and he said he’d rather stay home and take care of his baby birds. Surprised, I asked him, “Really? Are you sure?” Then he said, “They’re just so little and cute, I’d do anything for them.” Wow. A sacrifice. He gets it. The kind of love parents feel for their children. He's beginning to feel and to forego in much the same way for these baby quail.

He got up at 4:30 this morning to check on them, and fed them a little more. And I couldn't help thinking, he'll be a wonderful father someday.

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father [knowing]. (Matthew 10:29)



(Oh, and speaking of good dads, my brilliant husband was both quoted and touted in Salon.com, which was then picked up by the New York Times. Check it out...and then check out the season finale of Jer3miah, here.)

17 comments:

Allison Elkington said...

I love Miah. He is such a wonderful kid. No words describe. I can't wait to see what he's like when he grows up a little more. He's practically an adult inside anyway, though. :)

Sandy M. said...

Congratulations - for your husband of course, but especially for having a son who will be a wonderful father one day :)

Mrs4444 said...

I welled up over this. So heart-warming. Off to read the article!

Heather of the EO said...

Read the article - kudos to your man. That's just so cool.

And your boy? What a big heart he has! He really will be a good father one day. He's got a lot of YOU in him.

Mrs4444 said...

Wow. Can a review get any better than that? That's so GREAT! Hubs (and his students) must be thrilled!

Pam at beyondjustmom said...

Great work, Charrette--you've raised a son who cares about those who can't help themselves. And what a cool review for your husband--in the major mainstream press, no less!

Luisa Perkins said...

Oh, how sweet.

I'd better not let my kids see this post, or they'll be begging for baby birds of their own.

Melanie J said...

It melts my heart to see my almnost ten-year-old be tender and caring with his toddler brother, even though he has plenty of grounds to be annoyed--and often. But those unguarded moments are the proof that he has a good soul and will grow to be a good man.

Now I'm off to check out those links.

Eowyn said...

Amazing. I love it when kids make those kinds of connections.

Kimberly said...

Oh wow. I hope I raise children with hearts as big that . . .

L.T. Elliot said...

Wow. How beautiful and tender. What a good Mr. Cool you have! Hope those quail keep doing well!

LisAway said...

What a lovely story. Especially because it's not just a story. You're little Mr. Cool sounds about as cool as it gets, in my book. And those birds are exceedingly darling.

What a fabulous article! We've been excited to watch the series but it's been a super busy last few weeks, so it might have to wait until after I come back from the states. But really, how do you NOT want to watch it after reading that review? (and Brillig's posts about it, too. :)

heather said...

I rescued a baby bird from an airport parking lot once.

It was pre-internet, so we called a local animal rescue place who told us to feed it soaked dog food through a syringe every thirty minutes. MAN that bird could eat.

Then one day it just flew away. :)

Kazzy said...

That fuzzy little guy is adorable! And so is the birdy!

Debbie said...

What a great photo of those baby quail.

Brillig said...

First. HOW HOW HOW HOW HOW is it possible that you posted this on Tuesday and I'm just now seeing it? I swear I'm stalking you. Obsessively. How did I miss this?

Second. Wow. I love that kid. TO DEATH. And now I love him even more. What a sweet story, what a sweet photo, what a sweet boy. You'll let him know he's my hero, right?

(And way to go Hubby!!!! Wooohooo!)

CHERRANNE said...

Awwwwwwwwwwwww. That is SO SWEET. :-) Love it. Keep us posted! You have great kids-You are a GERAT Mom. Also, How it that ADORABLE Doggie? Take Care, Friend!