I’m About To Do the Thing I Am Not Ready To Do


I have years of experience hatching and raising a variety of creatures. There is this little one:

Baby Oustalet's Chameleon (Furcifer oustaleti)

Baby Oustalet’s Chameleon (Furcifer oustaleti)

And then there’s this one:

Angolan python - my first successful snake breeding

Angolan python – my first successful snake breeding

We usually do one of two things. After hatching, the animals are either surplussed to other facilities , or they are reared to adulthood and become a part of the program. I’ve entered uncharted waters this time around. For the first time ever, I’m preparing for a release directly into the wild.

My feelings are mixed. On the one hand, it’s incredibly exciting to know that I am potentially contributing to future generations. I’ve worked really hard, and it’s  time. On the other hand, I’m having a hard time letting go. It’s impossible to raise a hatchling and watch it grow from  glorified larva into something that can fend for itself without becoming too attached. To say I’m emotionally invested might just be the understatement of the year.

I knew what I was getting into when I signed on for the project. At least I thought I did. I read the books, talked to people who had done it themselves, read all the research. I knew my involvement would be time-limited. That’s the way it is supposed to be, the way it has always been. Keep them in captivity for too long and they don’t thrive the way they should. I knew that. I know that. But it’s hard.

The launch date is set, and as it looms ever closer, I worry. That’s just how I’m made. I worry, and I wonder. When facing release, there are so many questions.  Will the hatchling find a safe place to go? Find food? Will she live alone, or will she wander until it finds another of her kind? Has she learned all that is necessary to survive and thrive? These are the normal questions, and sometimes we never learn the answers.

The most important question remains, the only one that really matters. Will she ever find her way back home?

Girl-child and her grandma.

Girl-child and her grandma. My first hatchling. I miss her already.

I’ve never raised a human being to adult size before. Someone tell me what I’m supposed to do now. I am feeling a little lost.


29 thoughts on “I’m About To Do the Thing I Am Not Ready To Do

  1. Aw, you had me fooled for a while with that one! It wasn’t about a tortoise after all.

    I know it’s hard, but when your kids get to a certain age, you have to let them go and release them into the wild with nothing but a hug, a prayer for their future, and a GPS enabled tracking device for their ankle.

  2. I knew what this was about and the photo at the end STILL made me weepy. *sniff*

    She’ll be back. The road home’s always there. And you’ll marvel at what an amazing woman she becomes and how well she’s doing, and she’ll marvel at how brilliant her mom was all along.

    Much love to you and your beautiful and intelligent hatchling. She’s going to be AMAZING.

  3. It’s very quiet around here since I took my youngest daughter to college last week for her masters. 400 miles away. She has a big personality. I went to the grocery store Monday and I had to stop myself from buying things that only she eats. It was unsettling. There are only three of us to feed now. It’s quiet around. But she’s plotting a visit in October for her dad’s birthday.

  4. Such a bitter sweet, amazing time in the life of a mama, and a hatchling! How far away will she be? My last one is leaving in 2 weeks and I can barely imagine it… even though I’ve been through it a few times now. He’ll be a 2.5 hr flight away, and he’s barely been to camp. :-/

    I don’t generally leave links in other bloggers’ comment section, but you asked for advice. Here are my breadcrumbs for the lost: http://talesfromthemotherland.me/2013/06/11/so-your-kid-is-graduating-from-high-school-listen-up/

    Hang in there Heather, (( hugs ))

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