Meet Benji, the newest member of our household. He would come out and say "Hi", but he's quilling just now, and a little cranky.
I know how he feels.
When our daughter asked if she could bring home a hedgehog for the summer, I was surprised at how readily my husband agreed. He is usually the one who takes priming, while I am in favor of pets. (Good eating - he jokes - at least we won't starve!) Previously, I had to lay groundwork, convincing him over days or weeks that pets were a good idea, till eventually he would warm up to the thought of sharing his space, time, money, energy with what is essentially a child that never learns to clean up after itself. This time, however, he surprised me by agreeing before we had even had a chance to discuss it. Our daughter's witty PowerPoint on the benefits of owning a hedgehog had, if not convinced him entirely, at least softened his resolve enough to realize that anyone can endure anything for three short months. Benji was welcome, my daughter's dream come true.
Back to quilling... I had never heard of this process, but it is something immature hedgehogs do similar to cutting teeth. They loose several quills at a time as their adult quills come in - a process that is uncomfortable enough to cause hissing and "popping", and can alter a naturally sweet disposition. (I've seen similar effects in people going through changes, myself included.) It is recommended that hedgehogs continue to be handled through this period so that they learn to feel safe.
As our household adjusts to its new and returning members, I try to remind myself that transitions are hard for everyone. I can feel my defenses go up when things aren't exactly as I've grown comfortable with, feel myself getting prickly or wanting to curl up into a protective little ball. Now that I have a dedicated office/studio space, it's hard not to just retreat. Harder still to stay put and keep my quills from poking others.
Home is the perfect place to learn. Family helps all of us grow up.
I am thankful for the many opportunities our family has been given to adjust to circumstances beyond our control, for the love that surrounds us as we loose what is no longer needed to make room for a more mature way of living.
As for Benji? He and I are gonna get along just fine.