On Tender Hearts

So, those of you who read my stuff on a regular basis know that we have two boys.

What you may not know is that both, while strong and capable, fierce and determined, well both are tender at heart.

Both have a weak spot for animals.  Old people. The poor.

Both are funny, hard-working and kind.

And both are tender at heart.

So, it was a big of a surprise when, a month ago or so, youngest boy and I came across a wee baby mouse in the basement, zipping around.

“Look at him! He’s so cute!”

“No, he’s a rodent. And where there’s 1 there’s probably 10,” said the farm girl/mother/me.

“C’mon, Mom, just let me catch him and take him outside…….”

“No, they carry disease; you’re not touching that.”

And with that, the wee mouse came running up to his foot and stopped. Perfectly still.

Others might have stomped on him.  But we didn’t.

We left.

We told Hubbs.

Who freaked.

And set traps.

Many traps.

Farm girl saw a tiny mouse the size of this hair tie in the basement ...look what city boy bought to catch it with.

Farm girl saw a tiny mouse the size of this hair tie in the basement …look what city boy bought to catch it with.

Traps that were checked.  Traps where nothing happened.


Time went on.

And still … no mouse.

Flash forward to tonight; the weather’s turned colder, the nights are nippier, and youngest has been asking to wash his electric blanket. The same one that’s been languishing in a basement laundry basket all summer.

So tonight .. into the wash it went. And before I put it in the machine, I shook it.

And out rolled a teeny tiny mouse.  {dead of natural causes}

I guess he knew that, if he couldn’t survive our big scary basement all on his own, he might as well find a cozy spot to curl up in:   the blanket belonging to a tender-hearted boy.

Being a man with a tender heart can be really hard sometimes, but it can also be the most beautiful of times. – Anonymous

My Dad was a tender-hearted man, too,  so fostering that quality comes naturally to me.  Was that trait fostered in your family?

Categories: Animals, Family, Growth, Life, Men, Uncategorized | Tags: | 22 Comments

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22 thoughts on “On Tender Hearts

  1. What a sweet boy you have raised. He will go far in life with his tender heart. As I read your story, I found myself feeling grateful that the little mouse found a warm, soft blanket for his final resting place.

    Much as I hate to admit it, tender hearts weren’t exactly nurtured in my family while growing up. Thick skins and a good sense of sarcasm were. But my grandma was the most tenderhearted person I’ve ever known. Her trait carried on, in spite of the fact that it may not have been encouraged. My kids all have good hearts, even though some may try to hide it. And I was recently “accused” of thinking that every baby is adorable. I’m not sure what’s supposed to be wrong about that, so I didn’t feel too bad about it. But I think my grandma would be proud.

    • Thank you, Terri. The funny thing is, when I told Hubbs where I’d found the mouse, Mr. Softie said … “awww”

      I think lots of family members share that sarcastic trait you speak of; I’m glad you had a soft-hearted Grandma to encourage you. I happen to agree that all babies are adorable. And if that’s the worst thing someone can accuse you of saying then I’d be OK with that 🙂

      She’s definitely smiling down on you! MJ

  2. Aw…. I love that your boys have tender hearts. Motor Man does, and so does Marshall. And I love it in both of them!

    • I love it,too. Oldest boy has possums trying to move into his garage; he’s working out a “relocation” system for them! I know your MM and Marshall have tender hearts and I can tell you love that, too 🙂 MJ

  3. I love the picture of Frankie up at the top xoxo

  4. awwwww, my Eric has a similar animal (rodent) loving profile.

  5. Roxanne

    M, you are such a talented (and tender-hearted) writer. What a beautiful story. I’m happy to say Connor also has a tender heart and deep love of animals. And my five brothers? Well, all had and have varied personalities and intentions.

    • Thank you, Roxanne, that’s very kind of you. I can see that Connor has a tender heart/love of his kitty cats and others 🙂 I think the man who has permission to indulge that softer/gentler side will go on to be a very balanced person!

  6. How dear. I feel the same way about mice. Can’t stand to hurt them. Glad at least that the little guy found a warm place to die. I don’t know that tender-heartedness was necessarily fostered in my family, but humor was.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

  7. My son tells a funny story about him and his grandmother almost having a wreck because she was dodging butterflies while driving down the country road

  8. Awww…says it.
    MIL had the softest heart ever…except squirrels were not included. So soft was her heart, the girls and I saw and immediately purchased a tender paddle, heart-shaped trimmed in lace, labeled “Grandma’s paddle” that we gave her “just because.” I’ve told you about it before and that we don’t have it any more. I miss that token of hers as I think about it once again.

  9. Oh yes, I have often “relocated” a mouse. They are easy to catch. You throw a towel over them and carry them out. Hopefully, closer to the neighbor’s garage than your house!

  10. Yes, I love the tenderness displayed here with the tiny mouse. I love the chipmunks as destructive as they are!

  11. My boys were tender-hearted as well–and they had pet mice when they were younger. Most of those mice were purchased at a pet store, but one of them was rescued while it was swimming circles in the basement toilet. I didn’t want to let them keep it, but their huge, teary eyes defeated me. That mouse died a couple weeks later of natural causes (I assume), and even though my boys’ hearts were temporarily broken, at least I wasn’t the one doing the breaking (that time). Those tender-hearted boys grow into amazing men, husbands and fathers. 🙂

    • awww. what a great story of rescue, hope and love 🙂 Loved how it turned out — and mine have turned out the same – tender-hearted, kind and loving men!

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