For our Doodlewash prompt of “Bats,” combined with the Inktober prompt of “Injured,” I opted for a mother bat rescuing a little baby bat. While researching bats for references, I saw a sweet story of a little bat who was rescued and nursed back to health. Then he was left in an open area where the mother swooped down to retrieve it. It was sweet to watch, though bats are normally portrayed around Halloween as being a bit creepy. I’m not one to portray anything scary or tragic, so I could only illustrate the rescue itself. What I find sweet is that most bats give birth to only one baby at a time. The mother will go out and find food and return to the roost to find hundreds of other little babies from other bats waiting for food as well. Though they all look quite similar, she remembers exactly where she left her baby and can not only identify its smell, but also its cry as well. She continues to clean and care for her little bat until he’s ready to learn to fly and eventually, nudges him to move out on his own and begin a new life.
In truth, this is much like human moms. Though, thankfully, they don’t have to fly through the air with a baby a third of their body weight hanging onto to one of their nipples. Obviously, for bats, there’s a secondary reason why mom needs to get the little one flying before it grows too much. And like most other animals, they really just run on instinct, but it’s lovely to think there’s something more there that feels a bit like true love.
When I was old enough to left the nest, my own experience was a bit different. My dad had already moved while I was in high school to start a new job and my parents waited until I finished school before moving to Texas. I didn’t go with them, but stayed behind, creating the opposite outcome of having my parents leave home rather than me. It was my first adult choice to stay in the city where I grew up instead of moving to a much smaller town, and one that I’ve never regretted. Now, of course, as I get older, I’m thinking that a small town sounds rather nice.
Thankfully, at the beginning of December I’ll be heading to that small town in Texas to spend time with my mother again. It’s not the roost of my childhood, but that’s the beautiful thing about family. Home is wherever they live. So, it will be nice to be home again. Though I wish I could spend more time with my mom each year, I cherish the moments that we have together. She didn’t just care for me all of those years ago, she inspired me to become the man I am today. A guy who appreciates kindness and happy simple moments. Who still gets fearful, but can bravely conquer those fears. A man who wants the world to make beautiful things and love each other just a bit more. There’s no way to know what will happen when your children leave the nest. You nudge them as best you can and soon they’re flying off in their own direction. But, there’s a wonderful magnetism that never really goes away. And, no matter how far away I fly, I’ll never be so far that I can’t feel a mother’s love.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Aureolin, Quinacridone Red, Opus (Vivid Pink), Terra Cotta, Ultramarine (Green Shade), and Cobalt Turquoise. Staedtler Pigment Liners in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!