Pecking Order and Brain Connections

With not such a gentle nudging, baby girl moved out over a year ago, spreading her wings and flying. I’m very proud of her and enjoying my empty nest more than I thought I would.

Of course, she left behind her pit bull, cat, and a bunch of chickens. (Her sister gifted me a kitten with cancer – I hate to tell you this parenting gig never ends!)

Anyway, my children now refer to me as the crazy chicken lady, as I have named them all and am in the process of building an ornate “Chicken City” complete with a hatchery, rooster coop, hen house, a plaque with each chicken’s name, and multiple rose bushes.

Needless to say, I love those chickens!

So, the other day, I was feeding those crazy birds and watching as the three older hens pushed the “teenagers” aside to eat. Something clicked inside my brain.

“This is where they get the term, pecking order,” I squealed aloud to my silly birds. They, ignored me, their beaks pressed into the dirt as they dug for their kibble.

Don’t get me wrong. Of course, I knew what pecking order meant. But I had never had the real life connection of gazing at chickens as they pushed younger, weaker birds aside. You see, I was raised in town, and even though we’ve had chickens since moving to the country when the kids were small, I never had the responsibility of feeding and communing with them.

You see, as a single parent, I was responsible for buying their chicken scratch and making sure those kids turned into decent human beings. (They all three have!) That doesn’t leave much time for communing, though.

Well, it made me think about kids with learning issues. They might watch those same chickens pecking away and never make that connection. Or they might wait – like me – until they are fifty-nine years old to have that aha moment. Or, something might click and they might have that moment while they are sitting in school daydreaming.

You can’t force those connections, and never forget that real life experiences have a great deal to do with brain connections and learning.

Pecking order. It’s in our vocabulary, our world. But it took me fifty-nine years to connect those dots. It made me think – what else am I missing out on?\

More connections – we all need that!

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