Our Little Squirrel Has Left the Nest

Nate the fisherman
Nate The Fisherman at about 5 years old.

When I say our “little squirrel”, I am referring to our son Nathan (Nate or N8, as he likes to write it), who went into the army yesterday. There is an interesting story behind why I call him our “little squirrel” which I would like to share, but first I would like to share the story of how his birth came about.

My husband and I were married for 12 years before I was able to conceive (I was only on birth control for the first year we were married). We had been given a couple of prophetic words about the Lord giving us a child over the years and the Lord had even spoken to me personally about it. One time, when we were still living in Dade City, the Lord spoke to me in that still, small, inner voice and said “You’re going to conceive and have a son and you’re to name him Matthew because it means gift of God.” In my mind  I thought, Lord do I have to name him Matthew? My neighbor and one of my best friends both have sons named Matthew. Couldn’t I name him something like Nathaniel?  I had never even thought of that name before and didn’t know what it meant (although I did know what Matthew meant). So I went and looked up what the name Nathaniel meant and guess what? It means gift of God or given of God (the same meaning as Matthew). So, the Lord gave me an alternative name without me even realizing it.

Nate at 3 years old.

However, after so many years went by and it still hadn’t happened, I thought well maybe we missed God. I should have went to the doctor more, had more tests run, etc., so maybe now we’re moving on to “plan b”. So, being the woman of faith and power that I am (lol), my husband and I moved the baby bed that my sister-in-law had given us out into the shed (not realizing that I was pregnant at the time).

Although I had missed my monthly cycle a couple of times, I didn’t feel sick or anything, so I thought “I can’t be pregnant, my hormones must be wacked out.” I had a dream where I told my close friend (Pam Burke) about the situation and she said “have you taken a pregnancy test?” I said no and she said well take a pregnancy test! I later told her about the dream and she said “well have you taken a pregnancy test yet?” I said no and you know the rest. So, I went to the doctor on the day before Christmas eve and found out that I was about 2 1/2 months pregnant. When my mother asked me why I went to the doctor I said well, we’re going to have a late Christmas present. It should be here about the first week of July. My Mom said you’re pregnant? It’s a miracle!

Nate The Shepherd

Just prior to finding out that I was pregnant, I was working at a car lot and my husband was mowing the grass. He found three baby squirrels under the only tree there and discovered a dead adult squirrel in the road. We couldn’t find any other squirrels, so we assumed that the dead squirrel was the mother. We bought a pet bottle and some formula, put them in a box and started bottle feeding them. We would take them home at night and bring them to the car lot during the day. When they were big enough, we would take them outside and let them play on the tree during the day and they would come down when they got hungry and I would feed them. There were two females and one male squirrel. On one particular occasion when they came down to feed, one of the females got there first, so I was feeding her. Apparently the little boy squirrel was really hungry and angry because he wasn’t getting fed immediately, so he grabbed the skin between my thumb and index finger and bit me. It hurt, so I slung him off and he told me off in squirrel talk, lol. After I fed him, and the other sister, he calmed down and when the other two sisters went back up the tree, he stayed there and cuddled up next to my hand in my lap, like he was trying to make up with me and let me know that he cared. A short time later the squirrels stopped coming down the tree. They had grown to the point that they were self-sufficient and didn’t need me anymore and a short time after that (probably a week or two) I found out I was pregnant with my son. I’ve often thought that the little male squirrel reminded me of my son; impatient, sometimes quick tempered, but also loving and sweet.

Nate’s Senior picture.

I was 37 when I gave birth to Nate and it has been one of the greatest joys of my life to raise our son. He has always been energetic, rambunctious, strong-willed and all boy. Like my Dad, he loves farming, raising animals, fishing and hunting (all things my Dad taught him how to do). He also informed us that when he gets out of the military, he plans to be a farmer. In fact, he wrote “Nate The Farmer” in the rear window of his truck and has become known around town as that. He has grown into a responsible young man that we are very proud of, who has now gone to serve his country. In the last several years, he has become more and more independent and I knew that, just like that little squirrel, who went up the tree and came down less and less often because he didn’t need me as much anymore, that our son would become more and more independent until he one day went off on his own. That day has come and I have mixed emotions. I’m proud of him and happy for him, that he’s going off to find his destiny, but of course, I will miss him. And, of course, he didn’t pick a safe type of job; he signed up for infantry and to be a paratrooper and an army ranger (if he gets chosen for that). I guess this is the Lord’s way of making sure I keep my prayer life up to date while he’s gone, lol. God bless you all.

Kelly Rowe