When I was about 8 years old, my Nammers gave me a "knick knack." It was a mommy owl with her wing over her baby owl. I have kept that thing for almost 20 years now. It has traveled the country with me. Ever since she gave me that, I have loved owls. Now, considering I am TERRIFIED of birds, I understand this is weird. But true at the same time. Whenever I see a painting of an owl, or a little figurine, I have to physically hold myself back from buying it.
When Nammers passed away a year later, I helped move my Beer Pap (her husband) into an assisted living center. We had to clean his house and pack up his whole life. It was really hard. While I was doing that, he told me I could take whatever I wanted. He wanted me to have things to remember him and Nammers by. I ended up with some of her handkerchiefs which I still have. I also took a little elephant figurine. One of the tusks had broken off, and a leg was missing, but I *HAD* to have this elephant. The Christmas before I started my internship, I found a sterling silver ring with an elephant on it. I didn't buy it that day, but kept going back to the store and looking at it. Until finally, 3 days before I drove to Alabama and started working at the University of Alabama (Roll Tide and elephants anyone??), I finally broke down and bought it. I still have it too. I also bought another elephant figurine while we were on a Christmas trip with my dad's family in Gatlinburg.
So the reason for this post: Basically it's a reflection on the things that mean the most to me. I am really big in looking for meaning in things. And the other day I was walking around Toys R Us with my mom and told her I had initially wanted to do an "India-inspired" theme in the room. With rich jewel tones (ruby reds, sapphire blues, pearls and gemstones) even before I found out I was having a girl. Mainly I wanted this theme because of my love of elephants. Luckily I decided against it because there's no way I could have pulled that theme off the way I would wan to. I also told my mom I thought about something with Owls, but that was so limiting or I'd have to go with an "outdoorsy" theme, and I'm soo not an outdoorsy/woodsy girl.
As soon as I said Owls and Elephants though, something clicked. Something that took me almost 20 years to put together. The two items that mean the most to me symbolize "wisdom." Something I strive for every day. I try not to open my mouth on things I'm not sure of, try to learn from those who know more than I do, try to teach others when I can. (Try being the operative word there.) So for me to gravitate towards things which mean "wisdom" makes sense. It's also these things I want to pass on to my little girl.
The flip side of that: the owl figurine is a mother and her baby. I have always felt like this was something to pass on, but now that I'm having a little girl, it means more than that. It's a physical example of the love I already have for her. The protection I want to give her, always. Owls are also predators who will strike those who try to harm their nest and babies. Elephants are the same way. I mean, look at the movie "The Jungle Book." The mommy elephant is always looking out for her baby. Those pictures in nature magazines with elephants, you will will usually find one with a mommy elephant wrapping her trunk around her baby, cocooning it with her ears, shielding it with her strong body.
These are the images I conjure when I think of owls and elephants. These are the traits I want to show my daughter. My love for her is...indescribable. I would protect her with all I have. I will pass on all I know and encourage her to learn every day.
Wisdom and Strength.If I can teach or show her those things, I know she will be confident and caring.
Every day is one day closer to meeting her. Every day is an eternity! And every day is another memory I'll get to share with her. Remember: An elephant never forgets!