This weekend, my oldest daughter will turn 13. I still can't believe it. I'm not old enough to be the mother of a teenager! It is amazing to watch her grow and mature. In so many ways, she doesn't seem to need me. But then again, in so many more ways, she does.
Her birthday weekend has gotten off to a rough start, though. Her beloved gerbil, Sparky, has an injury. We came home tonight and she found him bleeding in his cage. We caught him, took him to the bathroom, and I washed his belly (where the bleeding was coming from) thinking it was just a scrape he had gotten, but it's worse. I am not quite sure what the problem is, but it's almost like a large tumor or hernia or something - a penny-sized lump coming out of his belly. That is what is bleeding.
I washed him, and we applied Neosporin, and she cleaned his cage thoroughly and changed his bedding so he'd have a clean environment. On the positive side, he isn't acting sick or injured. He still scampers and runs around his cage, just like normal. We're hoping it is something that will heal and he will be around longer, but it doesn't look good. She is taking it very hard. She cried so hard tonight - big, heart-wrenching sobs that just broke my heart.
It's all part of growing up, isn't it? The only way to learn how to deal with loss is to experience loss, but I wish so much I could protect her from the loss. It was all I could do to not promise her a new gerbil after he goes. That would first make her cry even harder, and look like I was telling her he was easily replaced, but then she'd hold me to it once the initial pain subsided.
Poor kid. I wish there was some way I could make this easier for her. Even if he ends up being fine for now, he's an old gerbil (for a gerbil). And the anxiety, the not knowing, is torturous for her. I hope the rest of her birthday weekend is better for her.