Having A Party

Last week after school drop-off I came upon seven deer in someone’s front yard. It is common to see a deer or two near school, but this was a large group. I pulled over and sipped on my still hot coffee watching them prance and stumble, their knees and ankles like the turned-in legs of an awkward yet elegant giraffe. As they grazed, they moved from yard to yard. I followed. They had purpose, and beckoned. We made our way to a small side street than can best be described as a loop. Not a cul-de-sac but a crest, a half circle and you’d only find it you lived there or took a wrong turn. I inched along and soon we were twelve. I was in awe.

They stopped in each yard to munch, leap a few times, groom, look up at me to make sure I was playing along, and then move on. Finally, we came to the circle’s crest, a large yard joining two homes with trees, a thicket and a clearing. There was the party. There were at least twenty-five deer, three bucks, does, fawns, all just being deer. One buck thrust his antlers at a low-hanging branch and when it fell two nearby fawns began munching on the green buds. A few does groomed each other, the other bucks sparred nearby, practicing. Fawns pranced and grazed and seemed almost to dance in the sunlight and shade and freedom. My presence and that of others, dog-walkers, a few passing cars were of no consequence. They were in the moment. And so, therefore, was I. So much so that, despite my earlier attempts to take pictures, it didn’t occur to me to snap one of this amazing site. Over twenty deer in one small clearing. Having a party. As my son Lucas said “Mom, it’s like you found their ‘private time.'”

Since that day, I have returned every day to see “my deer.” The boys and I leave for school a few minutes early. I return, walking with them, standing very still and once or twice a doe has come within a few feet of me. Just looking, smelling, wondering. I have yet to see them in such numbers as I did that day, but I see groups of seven, nine, five. They add up. That day though, that was magic.

Those deer, “my deer,” came along when I needed them, as things in life do. I was coming off a rough week nursing illness, myself and a child. Then, my husband left for a long overseas trip. I knew that while he was gone, I would need to practice extreme self-care. I’d need to be sure to get enough rest, to exercise but not too much, to listen to my body, my mind, my heart. When I see the deer, watch them live, walk with them, I am still, I can breathe and be in the moment. I can have private time. And maybe even a little party.

We’re having a party,
dancing to the music
played by the D.J.
on the
radio . . .

So, Mister, Mr.
keep those records playing
coz I’m having
such a good time,
dancing with my baby


  1. Beautiful JK, just beautiful. Both your experience and your telling of it.


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