Last week I was having coffee with a sweet neighbor when she told me she had a gift for my boys. My Arabic is pretty lame at this point but I could figure out enough to know that she needed a box for the gift to live in. In my head I was thinking, “Live in?!?!? Is she about to give the boys something that is ALIVE???? Nooooooo!!!”
If you’ve known us for any length of time you know we aren’t animal folks. We’ve had a few fish here and there. We even experienced life as dog owners for approximately 2 months, which was 2 months too long. We just don’t do animals, not until now.
I walked downstairs with my neighbor and the three older boys and was joyfully presented a box of baby chicks in a multitude of rainbow colors. Thoughts were swirling through my head as I tried to figure out a polite way to decline. All I can remember from this point forward is my neighbor mumbling something in Arabic while my boys smiled, laughed and called these florescent puff balls pets.
Questions that were swirling through my mind….
#1. How in the world did these birds get psychedelic feathers?
#2. How do you say, “No thank you!” in Arabic?
#3. Can she see the look of horror/disgust/unbelief on my face?
#4. Am I really going home with these tonight?
As I was pondering these questions, my neighbor told me the chicks would only live 3 or 4 days and how to care for them. I talked her into giving us three instead of all nine and before I fully understood what had happened we were walking back home with Pinky, Velvet Elvis and Tweety Bird.
Due to the fact that the directions she gave were pretty vague and that my boys were devastated at the thought of dead chickens, I did what any good mother would do and scoured the internet for information on raising baby chicks.
It turns out May 5th was Orthodox Easter and my sweet friend gave these to us in honor of the holiday thinking we were Orthodox. Because her gesture was so incredibly thoughtful and because my boys were beside themselves to have their own personal chickens I vowed to keep
these disgusting animals our new pets alive and well.
Despite my tedious efforts to care for these little chickadees we came home last night to find Velvet Elvis (the purple one) belly up. Britten and I were able to distract the boys and get them in bed without anyone knowing one of the birds had flatlined. This morning the younger boys informed us that Velvet Elvis had gotten out of his box and was lost, so who are we to tell them any different? One down, two to go.