I was on a run one morning a little while ago and disturbed a family of geese, two adults and about half a dozen goslings. They darted out from their grassy spot on the canal bank and began crossing the road.
I passed and they settled again—right in the middle of the road actually, a few of the babies plunking themselves down on the dappled pavement. A car approached, slowly, and I kept running, figuring the geese would get out of the way eventually.
Except they didn’t. I turned to see two more goslings had settled onto the asphalt, the parents in no hurry to move them along. The woman in the stopped car shrugged at me.
I returned and tried shooing the geese off to the side. The mama closest to me hissed, so I squirted her with my bottle, and then aimed the water at her brood, who finally decided it was time to stand and continue crossing. Momma kept hissing as they all got to their feet and meandered off. The woman in the car rolled forward and thanked me as she passed.
Stupid goose mom, I thought. So focused on me, she can’t see her whole family’s about to be squashed.
Then I realized how appropriate that metaphor was for me, in light of the ass-kicking parenting has given us these past few weeks.