A couple of weeks ago, a raccoon got into the chicken house in the middle of the night and injured one of our hens. It wasn’t until the next morning that I saw how serious her injury was. I won’t go into gory details, but I didn’t think she’d survive.
“Don’t say that!” my nine-year-old son Ryan commanded. “You always tell us to think positive. You tell us to imagine what we want and I want the chicken to be brave and live. I’m naming her Braveheart!”
He was right, of course, and I tried really hard to believe as much as he did that she would be okay. We made a special pen for her inside the garage, disinfected her wounds as best we could, medicated her water and put her under a heat lamp.
My twenty-one-year-old son Nathaniel helped me keep her wounds clean and medicated and if ever I commented on how “bad it looked” he would scold me. “Don’t say that! She’s going to be fine.”
Today Braveheart is back with the other hens, scratching around the yard and doing what chickens do. That makes me happy.
But what really warms my heart is knowing that my kids are practicing the coaching techniques I advocate. Not only are they practicing, but they are insisting that I practice what I preach. And that’s just how it should be.