Guard Your Coop!

Several weeks ago, I mentioned the baby chicks my children were hatching. We (more specifically, I) spent time daily turning the eggs and making sure the humidity level in the incubator was just right. We videotaped several of the chicks as they struggled to break free from their shells. One little cutie we named “Holly” because she hatched with such drama we felt certain she knew she was on camera—hence the name “Hollywood,” or “Holly” for short.

Once the chicks were old enough to be turned out into the chicken coop, the boys took turns going with me each evening to carefully scoop the chicks up one by one, placing them inside the protection of their enclosure for the evening. We were meticulous about cleaning their water containers and giving them food designed to help them grow strong. We were meeting every need the sweet chicks had and then some.

A couple of weeks ago, in the shadows of a good old West Texas thunderstorm, the unthinkable happened. With the speed of lightning, all of the precious chicks were gone. In my haste to get things tied down before the storm, I neglected to put the chicks in their special house inside the coop. By the time I remembered, the storm was already upon us. I thought to myself, “They are locked in the coop, and it’s pouring outside. What would venture out in this storm to eat a bunch of scrawny little chicks?” The answer to that question is coyotes—stinkin’ coyotes.

I learned a valuable lesson that night, one that should hit close to home for all of us. My false sense of security was based solely on my belief that the animals wanting to eat my chickens wouldn’t care to be out in the rain, or that they might be too lazy to expend the effort to tear open the coop to get to them. I greatly underestimated the creatures that surround me.

The same sense of false security can be applied to our lives today, not only as support group leaders and home school families, but also as loving parents.

THSC, this year, formally expanded our mission statement to include parental rights, which has always been the foundation of our right to homeschool, as we more and more defend explicitly the fundamental, constitutional right of parents to direct the care, control, and upbringing of their children. As easily as a coyote comes under the veil of night, so, too, come those who seek to steal the rights of fit parents across our state.

So, how does this apply to you? Simply put, no one is beyond the reach of this struggle—a family in your support group, perhaps someone in your community, or even yourself. The time to prepare is now, before there is a challenge.

Establishing a strong system for operating your support group is one place to begin. The featured article this month provides clear information concerning the proper procedures for setting up and running an organization. The “Social Waters” column gives details on how to run an effective, proper board meeting.

Another great way to deter challenging situations is by standing up for one another, being involved, and by knowing what is happening in your community. Finally, vote, and vote carefully. We are ultimately at the mercy of those who determine our laws. We make our voices heard by selecting candidates who reflect our hearts and minds. Protect your chicks, and guard the coop! Be ready when the coyotes come knocking. To learn more about THSC’s move into the parental rights arena, read through the selections found on our THSC PAC site.