My second daughter was at a friend's barn a couple weeks ago. She went to ride a pony, Sonny, who she has been training for quite some time, but instead got caught up in the 'fascinating' veterinary job of dehorning a couple young cattle that share the barn with Sonny. I was horrified to hear that she'd spent her time helping with and observing the procedure.
"How could you watch that?" After seeing the aftermath a few months ago of blood-soaked hides on the older cattle, all I could visualize was gore and horror. I looked at my daughter for the first time in her life like she was some weird, heartless child.
"Mom, it's interesting stuff. Besides, there was no blood this time. I got to fill the syringes. They were put to sleep, they didn't feel a thing."
"No blood?" Wasn't possible in my mind. Not from what I'd seen before. "How can that be?"
"If they're dehorned early enough, they can just melt the horns. No blood. Really cool. But even if there were blood, it wouldn't bother me. They don't feel it happening."
"You actually find that kind of stuff interesting." What happened to my dear sweet little girl who played with dolls and barbies, dressing and undressing, and poofing their golden hair?
"Yeah, maybe I'll become a vet."
$$$ start flashing before my eyes. I know veterinarians make healthy incomes. After all, our household has helped support a few of their lifestyles for many years, not the least of which is this past one with Tucker's broken leg, and Columbo's thyroid problems. I have a thyroid issue too, but man, neither the drugs or the blood testing costs me near as much it does for our sixteen-year-old tabby cat. This ability, or open-mindedness my daughter has toward medical procedures may just be a good thing after all, I'm thinking.
We are all blessed with individual gifts. And I'm thinking those gifts may sprout from how we perceive individual situations or conditions. To me, working on a living creature, human or otherwise, gives me the willies. I can't get beyond that feeling, so clearly my strength is not in the medical profession. But thankfully there are those who can see beyond the oozing blood, past the open flesh, anticipate healing from short-term pain, and truly be fascinated and awed by carrying out procedures that are far less than beautiful in my eyes.
Whether my daughter heads to veterinary school in five years or not, I have no idea, but for now, she has opened my eyes a little bit wider. Perception is a powerful tool, a character building one at that. As a writer, this experience with my daughter taught me a very important lesson. If we can get into the heads of our characters, and understand how they perceive what is around them, then we are one step closer to authentically writing their stories.
80 days to reflect and celebrate our Saviour's birth.