Author: Julie H., Foster Mom
You know when you live somewhere for a while things become “normalized” that to outsiders seem strange? Well, that seems to be a regular occurrence with Miss D (our city mouse). I wasn’t expecting to teach an entire “culture” of country living to our foster kiddo! We are all country mice in my household so bringing in a city mouse is an adjustment and is full of learning opportunities.
These insights into how “strange” we are in the country usually happen while we are driving. Yesterday, Miss D noticed street names in our area. She blurts out in the car “WHO names these streets around here? I mean, English Settlement Avenue? That’s so weird! or Two River Road? Where do I live where people name streets like this???!!!” Do you know what else Miss D does while driving? She starts naming the roadkill. “That’s a raccoon”, “That’s a possum”, “Uh oh, I think that was a cat!”. Apparently in the city, there isn’t a lot of roadkill. Who knew??
Other fun country events have been learning how to drive an ATV, getting her ATV license, and don’t get me started on tractors. Yes, we have “Drive your tractor to school” day. Yes, there are different kinds of tractors. Yes, you can pass tractors on roads when they go soooo slooowwww. Did she want to eventually drive a tractor to school (her answer was a resounding YES). And then when we are passing farm animals: Can we have one? When do horses lie down? Why do they lie down? Do cows lie down? When do they lie down? Is it really when it rains? Look, a baby cow!!! I want chickens! Why do coyotes eat chickens and not dogs?
But regardless of the conversations, we learn every day that we all are different and have different experiences, and that’s ok. And Miss D learns that she’s smarter than us in a lot of things because she’s lived a full life in her 13 years and that doesn’t mean she’s “less than”. And it doesn’t mean that we diminish her experiences and in turn minimize her. We support and help her grow into the amazing adult she will be one day…whether it’s a city mouse, a country mouse, or a nice suburban mouse.