Thursday, May 12, 2016

Can dogs have kittens? lol

A conversation from our morning commute to school:

"Mama, is Birdie going to have babies?" Senia Mae asked. Fortunately I am facing the road and she can't see me rolling my eyes saying, "Thank God, no," under my breath.

Birdie is our six year old pound puppy that looked strikingly similar to every stray dog roaming the streets of Cozumel... the ones whose pitiful eyes gave the poor me look as they begged for food. Although we love Birdie and have no doubts that she would be a expedient mother, we already have plenty of animals that require love and attention, one more puppy could easily turn our happy go lucky mini-farm into a literal "funny" farm. I spend nearly half of my day feeding and watering things. Right now our herd consists of two dogs, five cats, four chickens, and two fish.

After a long exhalation I answer, "No, honey. Birdie has been fixed so she can't have babies."

"But I really wanted a kitten!"

I was laughing so hard as we pulled into the carpool line that I didn't have time to explain that dogs have puppies and cats have kittens. Birdie, I am sure, would love to have her own kitten, birthed or adopted. She is very good mother to the ones we have now, letting them rub up under her belly and swat their tails over her face. I didn't have the heart or the time to break the news to Senia Mae that Birdie could never be a "true" mother of a kitten. I guess it will have to be a conversation for another time!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Getting Back to the Basics on Mother's Day

As I look at the young lady about to give birth in four weeks I think, "You have no idea how your life is going to change." None of us had any idea until the day it happened, the day we became mothers. There is no way you can understand the depth of emotion that surrounds the enormity of someone else's life being completely dependent on you. All of a sudden your most important job becomes being a teacher, making sure this new person feels safe, feels loved, knows how to love, and turns into a person with honor. What a huge responsibility but what an awesome responsibility, knowing that our actions, our feelings, and our morals are formulating what this little person is to become.

This little person watches every move we make, learning by examples that we set on how to be an adult. Yikes! How have I addressed the people I love lately? Has it been with compassion and empathy or with frustration and hatred. How have I reacted when stuck in that traffic jam or when the person in front of me in line is texting instead of paying attention? What about when this little person says, "Mama, look... " as I am in the middle of something I feel is more important. Have I dropped what I am doing to show them that they matter as much as getting my tasks done? What a huge responsibility but again, what an awesome one.

My parents have been living with us the last several months while looking for a house in Georgia. We see each other every day. I was surprised when friends invited my mom to spend a long weekend with them in Myrtle Beach and instead of packing her bags and getting the hell out of dodge, she thanked them and politely declined.

"Mom, you've been dying to go to the beach... Why not go and get a few days of fun in the sun?" I asked.

"You don't understand," she said. "You've been living away from me for 22 years."

"Well we are living together now, you see me every day," I said.

"I haven't gotten to spend a Mother's Day with my daughter in 22 years. That is more important to me than going to the beach," my mother said.

"Oh." I couldn't think of anything else to say. She was right, Mother's Day has a deeper meaning than just a card and flowers. Even when your children are adults they are still your children and you get to be proud of who they have become, the product of years of hard work and sacrifice. And even though as mothers we sacrifice time, money, sleep, friendships, our own thoughts, and sometimes our own sanity, I can't imagine a life any better than this, because this is the most important job I will ever have. And the most important thing we give and receive as mothers is LOVE. Happy Mother's Day, Mom and all mothers everywhere!