I was reminded of several lessons in that moment.
Don’t pick on someone or something just because you can. It could be you some day. Bella was all big and bad chasing that deer until the tables turned. As she was cowering under my legs, I’m guessing she was thinking it wasn’t so fun to be on the receiving end of that little chase. I tell my kids at school all the time that they don’t have to necessarily be friends, but if you don’t like someone, leave them alone. There is no reason to pick on someone you perceive to be weaker than you just because you can. You never know when you will be the one being “chased”.
There are times you must stand up for yourself. That deer probably gets pretty tired of being chased. Walking (or in this case running) away from trouble is always a good idea, but there are times you must stand up for yourself. I was pretty proud of her for standing up to Bella. Most people are cowards. It’s easy to talk about someone, make hurtful comments, or make others feel inferior as long as you’re never called to the carpet on it. Once confronted, even in a very nice way (which is what I recommend), the dynamics change dramatically. Tony Gaskin said it best…“You
teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop, and what you
reinforce.” You set the bar for how you are treated…set it high.
Don’t mess with a mama and her baby. When we stopped the truck and got out, the deer didn’t back down a bit. She took a few steps forward with an expression that said “Bring it on!” Catie stayed in the truck and said, “She looks mad!” She was mad! I imagine she had a baby somewhere close by and she would do anything to protect that baby. She ended up giving us a few grunts and running off, but I know that feeling well…mess with me all you want, but don’t mess with my kids! I’ve seen intelligent, calm, passive women change into the Incredible Hulk right before my eyes when it comes to defending their kids. We just can’t help it. Be sure not to stand up for your kids so often though, that you don’t teach them to stand up for themselves. That’s
truly the most valuable gift you can give them.
All of our moments are connected. In that moment at the creek, I was able to experience other great moments. As I watched Bella play, I missed our old dog Samantha tremendously, and remembered such wonderful memories with her at that same creek. I was taken back to high school thinking about how much time Todd and I
and our friends spent at these creeks, laughing, playing, and dreaming. And as I watched my long-legged, beautiful daughter play with Bella in the creek, I realized that she will connect this moment with one of her own somewhere down the road. This is why each moment is so special.
Of course no family outings in my world end on such a peaceful note. As we were shutting the gate and getting ready to pile back in the truck, Bella decided she wanted to salvage her pride on this deer chasing fiasco and chased a biker about a half a mile
down a curvy, country road while we screamed frantically for her (and the biker
screamed frantically as well)! I kept hoping for the biker to turn the tables and start chasing her, but no such luck! When she felt rightfully redeemed, she stopped, headed back for the truck with her head held high. Obviously, we still have some work to do!