Sure I'm an adult, married for 18 years with a child going to college in a couple of years...
My mother still scares me half to death, though.
The conversation went like this (she in quotes, me in italics):
"(Use of my full name)!"
"You have to draw the line!"
(My husband) said no more.
"You cannot keep volunteering with this animal rescue group."
They know I'm not allowed to foster or adopt any more.
"The problem with you is you draw the line in chalk and keep moving it."
"If you drew it in paint, you'd just paint over it and draw a new line."
I'm sorry. (fully chastised)
"Put (my husband) on the phone!"
After a time I was given the phone back and was told something I never would have thought my mother would say to me.
"I know you want to save them all."
I can't help it.
"I know. Even when you were a little girl it was a gift."
She said gift. Stunned silence.
"From insisting on hatching the last egg when the momma duck left with the other hatchlings, to riding your tricycle with a chicken in the basket, you always loved animals and had a certain way with them. Once, when you were three you rode your bike all the way to Williams Boulevard and rescued a litter of kittens whose mother had been killed.
I told you that you couldn't keep bringing them home and you looked at me and said, 'But they are all mine. I created them. I created the birds. I created the cats and dogs. I created all the animals. I have to take care of them, for they are all mine.' It scared me half to death because you sounded like God talking to me.
*Remember the time I came home from work and you had a hawk sitting on your arm? How about the baby alligator? Remember the lion?!? They came to you like some sort of pied piper.
Listen. I'm not fussing at you. I do understand, but you have to realize you can't save them all."
I cried silently.
I couldn't help myself. Maybe I can't save them all, but I can sure try to find homes for as many of them as possible. One day I'll have enough money to start my own rescue group!
*I found an injured hawk once and nursed it back to health. It tried to attack my mom, but sat calmly with me. It used to fly around when I rode my horse and land on fence posts along the way. It kept the mouse population down around the barn after that.
*I had a baby alligator that we kept until it was about three feet long and then re-released it into the wild.
*My mom dated the guy who raised & cared for the big cats for the Audubon Zoo when I was little, six I think. Once he took us on a tour and I opened the lion's door and was rolling around playing with him. Nearly gave them both a heart attack.
I never saw her go out with him again after that day...