Lily didn’t really consider herself “good with kids.”
She’d always kind of assumed she’d have kids with Blaine. After they were married, of course. She wasn’t sure if Blaine wanted kids; he’d never brought it up. Lily wasn’t actually sure if she wanted to have kids, to be honest. She’d just thought that that was what happened, when you were married.
Of course, if she’d learned anything lately, it was that life didn’t follow a script. Restoring Aunt Mary’s estate had taught her a lot about making her own path. Building a life that she was happy with, just like she was building a house she was happy with.
All of which was to say, Lily wasn’t entirely sure she understood kids. Or perhaps Karen was just kind of a weirdo, Lily sometimes secretly thought, and immediately felt guilty for thinking it. She meant it affectionately, of course. Lily herself was a proud weirdo, and so were all her favorite people.
“Lily!” Karen shouted from across the garden. Luke was meeting someone who wanted to commission a sculpture from him, so Karen was helping Lily garden this afternoon. “Come look what we found!” Roxy barked in agreement.
Lily set her pruning shears down on a nearby bench and hurried over to see what Karen was yelling about. Knowing Aunt Mary, it could be anything. After finding a WWII plane in a hangar on the property, Lily was sure she absolutely could not be surprised by anything anymore.
Karen and Roxy were bent over, looking at something on the ground. “Look, Lily!” Karen said. “Roxy found baby bunnies!”
Indeed, in a small indention in the ground, nearly obscured by grass, were four tiny, half-naked fur balls.
“Do you think their mom left them?” Karen asked, her brow wrinkled in worry.
“I don’t think so,” Lily said. She was no expert on bunnies, but she vaguely remembered finding a similar nest with Aunt Mary when she was about Karen’s age. “Rabbit moms have a bunch of stuff to do, but they come back to feed the babies a couple of times a day. I’m sure the mom is coming back for them soon. We shouldn’t touch them though, or she might get mad.” Considering her ongoing feud with the squirrel, Lily was reluctant to piss off any more wildlife.
“What if the raccoons get them?” Karen pressed. “Or somebody steps on them?”
“Tell you what,” Lily said. “Let’s make them a little house to protect them!”
“Yeah!” Karen said, jumping into the air, enthused by the idea of any kind of DIY project. Roxy jumped and barked too.
Lily and Karen fetched a few of the bricks they’d used to pave the garden path and made a circle around the rabbit nest, big enough that they were sure they wouldn’t accidentally squish any of the babies with a brick. They left an opening on one side for the rabbit mom to come and go, and laid a couple of boards over the bricks.
“There,” Lily said. “Safe and sound!”
“Rabbit-rific!” Karen said.
“Now you’re learning!” Lily said, laughing. She twitched her nose like a rabbit, something Aunt Mary had shown her how to do.
“How did you do that?” Karen demanded. She immediately screwed her face up and managed to twitch every part of it except her nose.
Lily laughed again and booped Karen on the nose with a finger. Karen grimaced. “Come on, little bunny,” she said. “Want to pick some flowers to give to your mom when she comes to pick you up?”
“Okay!” Karen said, racing off across the garden.
Lily might not understand kids, but she thought she was getting better with them. Or with Karen, at least.
“Lily?” Karen asked, as they combed the flower bed for the most perfect flowers to pick for Rachel. “How does the mom bunny make baby bunnies, anyway?”
Lily went red. “Um,” she said, “I think that’s a question you should ask your parents!”
Okay, so she still had some things to learn.