This morning I woke up with a spring in my step. New beginnings, starting today!
Deep into interviews with the actors from the movie, I hear someone descending the stairs. It could only be Ruby. Nobody else gets up this early. It’s 6:17 and the sky has just started to lighten.
“Hi, Mom.” Ruby rubs her toe against the kitchen linoleum, bashful.
“Can I come down?”
I struggle with this decision. I *really* need the time by myself. But Ruby wants to spend time with me…and my blanket. I can’t resist. I don’t see as much of her as I’d like, now that she has at least a half dozen friends in the neighborhood she can pal around with. She’s a popular kid.
I’ve already felt like today is supposed to be a “don’t force it” kind of day, full of dreaming and planning and thinking. So why not? I’ve got all day, now that I don’t work.
After I consent, she dives onto the couch and grabs half the blanket. We cuddle up for a minute. We exchange some small talk. Then we get to the meat of the matter.
“Hey, Mom? I want a chicken.”
This isn’t news to me. Girlfriend loves animals.
“Rubious, you need to marry a farmer.”
“No, I want baby chicks. You know, like ‘peep peep’?”
I get it.
I tease her by saying she wants a farm with a Noah’s Ark type of deal: a male and female of each kind. Once they have babies – chicks, calves, colts, puppies, kittens – Ruby would take care of the little ones. Then, once grown, they’d get sold off.
Ruby likes the idea. But then she looks puzzled.
“How do eggs become chicks?”
I have no idea. So I pull out my iPad and we look online. Ah, the olden days of library research seems so passe now. I found out that roosters have to mate with chickens. Sorry guys, but chickens and roosters seem oddly shaped for such an ordeal. The process seems comical at best. Anyway, once the rooster has his way with a hen, the sperm he deposits enters a sperm pouch inside the chicken. Every time that chicken lays an egg, it passes by the internal pouch and the egg – presto! – gets fertilized. All of this occurs before the shell is added, the very last step in the egg’s formation.
I like the idea of a sperm pouch. Will this be the wave of the future for single human females? “Yo, babe! My pouch ain’t running over. I need you to donate some of your juice. I’ll be home until 2:00.”
Ruby wanted to see how eggs become chicks. Here’s a clip:
I apologize for the music.
We watched more videos of chicks hatching in an incubator as some school’s class project. Did you know it takes about 8 minutes and lot of effort for them to emerge from their shells? Birth in most species is a bloody, messy business. Yet how amazing.
I think about how when we’re born again, it takes Jesus’ blood sacrifice to make it happen. We can’t become new creations on our own. And His blood continues to cover our transgressions, day by day, for as long as we live. Also pretty amazing.
“Want some eggs for breakfast?” I asked Ruby.
“Sure,” she said, undeterred by this morning’s lesson.
Does it matter which came first? Not to me. They’re both tasty.