Grace, goddesses, and a little bit of Google.

We recently got a new member in our family.

Well, Santa brought this new addition to be specific.

Actually, to be very specific, Santa brought a gift card and we got to  pick her out.

Meet Whiskers. Possibly the largest hamster in the history of giant hamsters.

I had no idea what I was in for when I agreed to become a hamster care taker. I thought it would be simple in comparison to a puppy and two babies. But I find myself losing sleep at night worrying about this damn hamster.

First she wouldn’t drink water. Then she wouldn’t exercise. Now she won’t leave her bed. By definition, my hamster is depressed.

These feelings of uncertainty remind me so much of when the girls were younger. How scary and surreal it is to be responsible for tiny, living, breathing creatures. I’m not sure how mine survived, to be honest.

I’ve always hated that saying about parenting “go with your gut.” Maybe it is just me but the only thing my gut communicates is what it thought about dinner. If there is another guttural language I should be hearing, my gut is mute.

Instead, I think it is grace, goddesses, and a little bit of Google that got me through those early parenting years.

Grace was the reason my oldest child survived rolling off the changing table, pulling a dresser on top of herself, swallowing a screw, and countless other injuries. Grace is the reason my hamster has survived when that same oldest child forgot to shut the door to her room and our dog knocked over the cage. Grace is what I’m trying to remember over and over again when she makes mistakes with the hamster. After all, she allowed me grace when I made mistakes with her.

Goddesses are the clan of people I surrounded myself with to survive those early years. My mother, my sisters, my dear friends. Nobody was safe from frantic text messages, sobbing phone calls, or questions of what to do when my worthless gut sat silent. It certainly wasn’t limited to females either. My dad was the first person I called when my kid swallowed a screw. Maybe it was the DIY, home improvement project nature of the situation, or maybe it was his calm demeanor and logical thinking. Whatever it was, he served in goddess role for the day. I haven’t found a hamster clan yet. Maybe that is why I’m having sleepless nights.

Google is what I turned to when my gut still sat silent, 20 minutes after needing to make a decision. Perhaps I used it too often, including every time my babies got a fever, but I researched  the point of knowing exactly when my gut should be telling me something. Hamsters can go six days without drinking any water. I don’t need to worry for a week. (Babies can’t go nearly that long, FYI.)

It is possible I’ve abused the power of google both with my children, and now with my hamster.

Me to husband: “I’m worried that Whiskers isn’t running on her wheel. Hamsters run up to five miles a night in the wild. There is no way she is getting even 1/2 a mile in.”

Husband giving me a very strange look: “Why are there hamsters in the wild? And who is measuring how far they’ve run?”

Grace, goddesses and a little bit (lot) of Google got me through the baby years, so I’m pretty certain it can get me through the large hamster years too. It is going to have to, because I have two very invested human children who need to learn these lessons for themselves. And for everyone’s sake, we should all have to start with a hamster.


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