On our way home from our usual Wednesday errands today I noticed a turtle attempting to cross the road. It was in the opposite lane of the little two-lane road (busy but not too busy at this time). I almost turned the van around at the nearby Christian church, but there was someone behind me and I hadn’t quite decided whether or not we had turtle transportation accommodation with us. Then I remembered we did have a cardboard box in the van, and it wouldn’t be hard to take the turtle home to let it loose in our woods, trusting it would instinctively find its way to our lake.
That being mentally decided, it was just a matter of finding an easy place to turn the van around. I pictured a fancy blogpost with images of the children watching the turtle in our backyard. I could hear Rascal excitedly recounting the story to his Daddy over dinner. I just knew this would be an epoch, that from here on out we’d date things from “that day, you remember, when you stopped the van so we could rescue a turtle?!” It was going to be perfect.
So I told the kids as I turned the van around that we were going on a Turtle Rescue Hunt!
They were so excited! This was exactly the kind of thing Rascal enjoys and hoped we would do someday. He was already wheedling and scheming to keep the turtle as a pet, but I was adamant that we would be releasing it. The other kids chatted happily and couldn’t wait to see the turtle in our backyard. Rascal informed me that we were being just like St. Francis of Assisi! It was all going well.
Of course it was inevitable that although conditions were favorable for turtle rescuing, there being no other vehicles on the road that moment, in the time it took me to drive maybe two miles, someone had hit the turtle.
“Um…” I swallowed. “Guys, I’m afraid the turtle has been hit.”
Three of the kids burst into tears. Rascal’s disappointment was palpable. One child hoped that the turtle had “gotten out of its shell in time.” And all the while, listening to the lamentations, I wished I had turned around a mile sooner.
So much for earning Mommy brownie points!