Meet Little Dorrit

Its been a horrific and emotionally painful week and a half. I can hardly wrap my mind around the Paris shootings. It is too awful. I've had to limit my time listening to the news because I don't want to scare my kids. I've already been told by a wide-eyed Millie, "Mom! You can NEVER go back there."
Besides that, the new church policy on children living in households with homosexual parents has been impossible for me to understand. Its been a tearful time. So I was in a vulnerable and reckless place when I took all four children to the pet store to buy Samwise some new dog food....and we came home with a yellow-blue-teal parakeet. I can hear you now, "What?! A bird?! Um, don't you hate birds Shelley?" Why, yes, but I can explain how all this came about.

When I worked at the best bookstore in Utah, The King's English, I formed a close and loving friendship with a coworker, Kelly Wells. We became best friends, and I love her. Sometimes we had lengthy arguments about birds. I assured Kelly that birds were nasty, beady-eyed cretins. She refuted with, "No they are not! They are adorable! You have to give them love and attention, and they will love you back. And they are smart." There were several of these lively discussions in the year I worked with her.

When she passed away, I know what she did. She found my future children, and told them: "Okay, when you come to earth and learn to speak, tell your mom your favorite animal is a bird. It will be hilarious." And my girls remembered. Millie's favorite animal has been a blue bird for at least a year. Every time Eloise sees a bird anywhere its "BIRD MAMA BIRD!!!!" The girls were entranced with the cage full of twenty parakeets at the pet store. Josephine especially loved the only bird with tri-colored feathers. I'll be honest, I was entranced too, by her dainty feet and beautiful plumage. So when Millie turned to me and said, "I know you'll say no....but I would really love a bird pet." I said
sure! What the heck! Lets pick out some bird toys. "Really, mom?! AHHHH!"

Extend a warm welcome to our new animal, Little Dorrit. She is awfully sweet, and has finally seemed to relax in her new environment. I think I love her as much as my daughters do, so Kelly won the argument. Bringing a little more love, a little more life, a little more delicacy and nurturing and happy chirping to the world right now feels just right.


  1. So, so beautiful. Kelly is celebrating. Well done, Kelly. (And Shelley, too.) Love you both.

  2. Ann's right. So, so beautiful.