An Old Gray Sweatshirt
Right about now you are wondering if I titled this post right or if I was losing my mind. Well, you see, I have this old hooded gray sweatshirt, the kind that zips up the front. It's what carries me through, from the heavy Carhartt jacket to just a t-shirt in the spring and then again in the fall. I had this sweatshirt on on Saturday. I hang it in the mudroom and grab it whenever I head to the barn. It usually is dirty from little muddy goat hooves and spilled milk on it. After Naomi had died and we took her on the hill to bury her, I knew I had two little lambs that I would have to teach to take a bottle. I warmed some milk in a bottle and as I grabbed that sweatshirt, I saw a stain that hadn't been there before. It was from where Naomi had laid in my arms, across my chest. She was foaming and frothing at the mouth and the stain was from her saliva. I thought to myself, I would throw it in the washer as soon as I came back to the house. I headed to the barn with my bottle of milk.
Anyone who has ever tried to teach a baby lamb or goat to drink from a bottle, when they are used to their mama, knows what a battle it can be. They clench their little jaws tight and want nothing to do with the nipple. I started with the ram lamb and could not get him to drink, so I tried little Abigail. As soon as I picked her up she struggled against me but all of a sudden she smelled my sweatshirt and the smell of her mama and she snuggled right up against me, with her faced pressed against where her mama had been just a little while ago. It was all she had left. With tears steaming down my cheeks. I gently opened her mouth and she began to suck on the bottle. Thank goodness for that old sweatshirt. Since yesterday, both lambs are now thriving on goat milk. They are starting to hop and play, like little lambs should. I am their mama now. And guess what..?? I'm not washing that sweatshirt for awhile either.