Jake the DeerReflections . . . For the Love of Jake

Saturday morning started pretty much like any other Saturday. Sitting around trying to consume enough coffee to barge forth on all the things that the weekend means. Things like making sure the teenager in the house arrives at his job on time, and mentally making a list of all the activities that our pre-teen has planned with her friends and making sure she'll get to the dance recital rehearsal, all the while noticing that our hallway is beginning to look like Naples with a threatening Mount Vesuvius load of laundry ready to cascade at any given moment. More coffee.

Outside, I see a gorgeous day in the making, but the little voice in my head reminds me that I didn't finish all the work from the office last week, and so in between herding kids, my day needs to be spent rendering something into a finished product.

Is this the gay, lesbian lifestyle I wonder? Or is it simply one of mothers and fathers around the world? A commentary on the radio is once again talking about the what-if's, the oh-no's, and the other usual rhetoric on sexual preferences. Sexual preference is an odd term I think. I, for one would certainly prefer sex over all the other things that seem to fill my days and nights and.. who wouldn't? No matter, there's not enough time to ponder all the questions that pop in my head. Not today, anyway. Besides it's time to make more coffee.

So, feeling that we're about ready to tackle the day, a car appears in our drive and our friend, her daughter and her granddaughter arrive in a frenzy. Our daughter and visiting pre-teen disappear into a world of puzzles, movies and the latest issues of pre-teen magazines to study love and trends in the making. As we chat with our friends, we discover they have found a newborn fawn in the middle of the road. Mama deer is gone and given the traffic, unlikely she will reappear. Now, while I know our home and our many acres resemble something that Noah designed, we haven't ever taken in a baby buck. But heck, with goats milk available at the local grocer, all things are possible and baby deer moves in. So much for a day with plans.

Jake, as our new, tiny addition was promptly named, sat on the couch with me looking very lost, very confused, but at the same time very relieved not to be watching as huge piles of metal roared in his direction.

The next couple of days were spent trying to convince Jake that even though the nipple was much different than his mama, and the milk du jour smelled and tasted a little funny, the bottle was a necessary part of growing into a full fledged buckdom.

I had many conversations with Jake and part of them included why the universe had brought to us this little slice of heaven in spotted format. He's a good listener and it rapidly occurred to me that he has never once turned away or trusted less, or loved with any less vigor simply because he landed in a lesbian household.

Here is a tiny bundle of too long of legs, mule-like ears, and a heart as big as a full moon. And even though he's been dropped into a world much different from his own, he accepts everything and everybody around him. Without judgement, without fear. What lessons the world could gain from Jake. A week on earth and his whole approach to life is one of gentleness, love, gratitude, and acceptance.

As a child, I often heard my grandmother exclaim "for the love of Pete", and sometimes she replaced it with "for the love of Jake". I never quite understood what that old time saying meant, and I was never sure if Pete and Jake were from a Biblical story or they were the men who manicured her lawn. Now I think I understand.

I know why Jake has appeared. He's the reminder of the way things should and can be. He's the icon of reality as I'm sure the universe intended. He's the laughter that overrides the sorrow. He's the friend that asks nothing in return. He's the gentle spirit that spends his time filled with attention, grace, pride, respect. And compassion.

So, as you go forth in this world, experience all you are with the wonder of a deer. And when your day seems to fall apart or life seems to deals some unfair blows, smile and saying quietly to yourself "for the love of Jake". Live, Love and be proud.

It's fairly simple I think. Keep love in the foreground whomever you are, through whatever you are doing.

And never run out of goats milk and coffee.

Author Jan Ridenour, the wife, two kids, cats, dogs, pot bellied pigs . . . and Jake live the glamorous gay lifestyle in Arkansas.


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