Yesterday, I picked Rylie up from Sunday school and her teacher pulled me aside to let me know the earplugs we’ve been using are helping Ry feel more comfortable during the loud music time (amen and alleluia). Then, she asked if things were fine at home and I said, “Yes, actually. Things are fine. Right? I mean… are things fine?” She laughed and mentioned that Ry had been praying for 2 weeks now about the BABY COWS! and today she was very excited to share (something) about the BABY COWS! but the teacher wasn’t quite sure what story Ry was laying down (welcome to my world).
Ah, yes. There’s a story there, I thought to myself.
Remember? Rain was due to have her baby on the 19th? She did. In the middle of thunder and lightening and a complete downpour, that sweet first-time mamma had a little boy calf. I found it immediately after I wrote that morning and mamma and baby were doing fine, despite the weather. The calf was walking… wobbly, but walking… and the skiies were clearing, so we dubbed him Lightening and went on with our day.
That night, Curt walked out back and saw the two of them together again… wobbly, but walking and apparently nursing… so all was well.
Until it wasn’t. The next morning, all the cows- including Mamma Rain- were up front and there was no Lightening. No big deal, we thought. It’s early and she’s young. She probably has him hidden. She’s a helicopter mom.
But we didn’t see him later that day.
Or the next.
Or even three days after that.
I mentioned to Curt at dinner one night that I had a bad feeling and he agreed. A long search in the back 40 revealed… nothing. No calf, no signs of struggle, no anxious cows… nothing. We were sad. I mean, I saw him! We both saw him. And he was fine! What did I miss? And what could have happened? It was such a mystery… but there was simply no way to know. We finally told the kids that we weren’t sure, exactly, where Lightening was. He was hiding. And I think Ry knew that he was lost. So she, in her infinite awareness as a child who sees everything but cannot speak well, she had been praying. he Sunday school class had been praying.
Wednesday, a sweet friend came to visit and we walked a little ways to see the cows… all up against the fence again… on display. And there was sweet little Tex right there in the back.
Except… it wasn’t Tex.
It was Lightening. Sure enough… there was the tiny calf… a week later… completely fine and very shy. He popped up immediately, ran to Mamma Rain and the two of left left us to sweet talk the other cows. They walked quietly and very quickly with no ceremony or distress.
Two days later, I found him again. This time, he gave me a good 10 minutes before retreating with his mamma… and since then he’s been sticking around a little longer each day.
He sees us.
Where’s my mom?
Mamma Rain giving us the eye.
Mamma and baby making their way… away.
Sweet Pea playing defense while the pair leaves in the background
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get a little teary with amazement when I “found” him again that Wednesday. I guess he was never technically lost, but I was so afraid he’d been hurt or sick and I’d missed it. I’d not been there to help. We’ve had our share of death on the farm… a calf born too soon, chickens losing against raccoons, and even our sweet cow dog Blue. It happens. It happens whether you’re ready or not, whether the baby looks fine or not, whether your brand new or have been farming for generations.
But what sweet relief to see that baby… fine and strong and shy. A first time mamma with a little baby to take care of and 12 other mammas alongside her to help and guide and protect. She did just fine. She did it exactly right. Not like any of the others, but still exactly right.
We were all thrilled. Rylie squealed and giggled and clapped… which I wish I had been free enough to do myself.
Such an amazing find.
I found life where I did not expect it, where I had counted all for loss.
Anything, absolutely anything, is possible, friends.