Yesterday morning, I decided to take the kids on a little trail/nature walk. Why? Because I enjoy struggling and testing the boundaries of my anger management coping skills. Innocently enough, I thought it would be a fun way to get our steps in, burn off some energy and tire out both dog and children.
We have a trail in our neighborhood that runs along the river and until they finish the trail, literally ends in our backyard. Apparently, the trial contains rare flowers which is news to me because that joint looks like it’s overrun with weeds. Like seriously, they put up signs about NOT picking the flowers because it’s a crime to humanity and a felony or some shit. They’re very serious about these wildflowers, guys. The town will literally take both of your kidneys if you dare harm those no-one-cares-about flowers.
After sharing these death threats with the children, we began our journey into the “forest.” I usually refrain from going into the woods alone because as a woman, I WILL get kidnapped, murdered, butchered and dumped into the river. That’s just fact. Just a part of being a female.
However, I figure my preschool aged children who have been known to lick shopping carts and a blind diabetic dog would be enough to heed any potential threats. Power in numbers!
We looked for fairies, elves and wolves, but didn’t find any. INSTEAD, Caroline yelled “Mom! Come here!” I figured she wanted to make me aware of a pressing issue like her ponytail being crooked, but instead she pointed to this:
What. The. Actual. Fuck. Is. This.
There I was trying to expose my children to the beauty of nature and what do they find? A skeleton and detached bones of a dead animal. Caroline looked at me with big wide eyes asking what happened.
Me: Well, whatever animal that was…it died.
Me: I mean, if I had to guess…it was killed.
Caroline: That’s TERRIBLE!
Me: Well…you know…food chain and all.
Caroline: What’s a food chain?
Me: Um…when animals kill each other to eat.
Caroline and Oliver: :::stare blankly at me:::
Me: Um, well, okay…so everything in nature has predators and stuff, I think. They hunt to eat. So maybe this animal was hunted and killed by something? I don’t know. But look! It still has hair on its tail! That’s cool.
Caroline: That’s awful. Everything gets killed? Do we get killed?
Me: Ughhhhhh. Um…..nature walk is over, guys! Let’s go home and watch “Paw Patrol.”
I slept throughout every science I ever took so me explaining the environment to my children is like Donald Trump explaining space in front of an actual astronaut.
What a bust. I ended up with 89 mosquito bites and Caroline acted like the titular character in “A Princess and the Pea” by having an epic meltdown every time a rock was felt in her shoe. Oliver, on the other hand discovered a caterpillar and found some precious joy in throwing stones in the river so maybe next time I go to Target, I’ll just drop him off by the trail for a little bit. He can keep himself occupied while I shop.
Now back to this:
I’m thinking of sending the picture in for an episode of “Forensic Files.” I want trace DNA, blood spatter, an age and occupation of the victim and a profile of the murderer. Caroline says we need a paleontologist, but I don’t know. Whatever it is, let’s take a moment and pour on out for it…RIP to the thing that forever traumatized my daughter.