Brianne Kirkpatrick is the founder of DNA Watershed. She is a DNA Counselor, wife and Super-Mom to three children. And to top it off, Brianne has co-authored a book on DNA topics for adoptees which will be released soon! It’s such an honor that she agreed to be a guest on my blog!
Brianne and I met briefly at NBC Studios while on set for the Megyn Kelly Show a couple of months ago. She is leading the charge in the world of DNA Counseling. With the tsunami of people taking DNA tests via Ancestry.com, 23 and Me and others, there often come questions and surprises. Brianne is there to help you navigate the waters of understanding who you are, genetically.
In this personal story, I love how Brianne chose to be inconvenienced in order to show her children the value of life and how it’s vital we help ease suffering. I hope this stands as a reminder to us all. Go out of your way to show your kids what’s right. Thanks, Brianne!
Baby Squirrel Rescue by Brianne Kirkpatrick
Out in the front yard in the afternoon. Kids are romping while I pull weeds and pick up twigs that have fallen from the branches overhead. Unexpectedly, I happen upon a tiny squirrel, a baby all alone. At first I’m confused – where did it come from? It makes no flicker, no movement. Is it even alive?
Before the kids can find it, I try to usher them inside, to no avail. They are enjoying the nice weather, their ride-on toys, the yard. They refuse, and so eventually they discover it.
Owen finds it first. “Maaaaaaahm! C‘mere!” Huddled over it, we chatter amongst ourselves. Three giant humans looming over a tiny rodent. I want to leave it there so its mother can come and find it. I explain this. “But what if she doesn’t?” the kids ask. I try to explain that the circle of life will take care of the situation. Noooo! The resignation of this tiny creature to the brutal cycle of life is clearly unacceptable. Tears and crying ensue.
They were completely right, I will add. Little baby things should not have to enter the circle of life before they get a chance to try to live, not if someone bigger can help them out.
With reluctance, I scoop up the thing with a gloved hand. It’s no bigger than a golf ball. Gently, I lay it on an old hand towel in the bottom of our empty recycling bin.
It isn’t stiff. I think I saw a back leg flinch.
I sense life force.
We carry it inside where I can turn to Google for the wisdom I need. Offer sports drink, it says. Rummaging through the junk drawer in the kitchen, I find an eye dropper and grab a bottle of fluorescent yellow beverage from the fridge. Most creatures have not and will not ever taste lemon-lime sports drink, but this lucky baby squirrel counts itself amongst the rare as three droplets now rest on the edge of its lower lip.
Now we are the frozen ones. We stare without blinking, holding our breath. Not sure what to expect or how long we must wait. Google didn’t tell us that part.
The kids quickly get bored and wander away in search of toys. I continue the vigil and after a few minutes more, finally see a leg twitch. I wasn’t imagining it after all. I call the kids back to resume the watch.
In the span of five minutes, we watch a squirrel baby come to life. He should be called Lazarus, I chuckle to myself. Weakly, Lazarus sits up on its haunches and props itself against the side of the green recycling bin we had hastily made its care ward.
A few phone calls later, I discover the closest wild animal rehab center is 45 minutes away. I look at the clock. I should be thinking about starting dinner right about now. Driving to another town is not on my agenda today. I sigh, while my elder child’s eyes plead.
I can’t turn it loose to our yard at this point. If she comes back, the mother squirrel won’t recognize the smell of this baby with lemony-limey breath. I could turn it back to nature, but how cruel to bring it back from the brink of death only to return it right back to the edge.
I say, pile in the car kids and we start the 45-minute drive. Parking on the gravel, carry in the bin, they say thank you and take it to the back and return the empty bin to us. This unusual event in our family is simply a normal happening on a normal day to them. I can tell it has been a day for the workers - they don’t invite us back for a tour - and we made it there minutes before closing, so I don’t ask for a tour.
We leave, and my children are content. They ask what will happen to the baby and I explain that the workers take care of wild animals until they can return to the wild. They are content and begin asking about dinner. The tummies are hungry.
We did a good deed for a small creature. One day in a long stretch of them, but I think about the 5pm lesson on an ordinary day and fast forward to thoughts of them as grown-up people. I hope it was worth it. I think it was. I may never know for sure.
The kids rarely mention the baby squirrel anymore. It has been four years, they are big kids of seven and ten now. It was an inconvenience at the time to do what we did; inaction would have been so much easier.
But I am glad for the choice I made with a little urging from my babies. It wasn’t for the squirrel, although Lazarus did get the best end of the deal.
Always do what you need to for the kids in your life. They are always watching.