I am the mother of a seven year old daughter. I didn’t know I would have a daughter until she was placed on my chest and I begged her to take her first breath. But after that first inhalation, as her body turned from that terrible lifeless blue-grey into a beautiful living pink, I knew I had a daughter. Having a daughter is a gift and yet a struggle in ways that having a son is not. Oh, I worry about all of them. I worry about how they will grow into the people they can be. But I worry a bit more about her. Mostly because I know what it feels like to be a girl in this world and so I worry a bit differently about her than my boys. But worry is not enough. So I have spent my entire parenting life trying to teach all my children to love themselves and to love others; to see their own gifts and to see other’s gifts as well; to be whole and happy, and made stronger by the challenges they face. But still I worry. Because as much as I love my dear children, and as many times as I have told them they are wonderful, I am like a broken bird with wings taped back together. How can I show them how to fly when I can barely leave the ground myself?
Before I start, let me just state for the record that I actually do adore my pets. Really, I do. They are part of my family and I am so glad that we adopted them (Humane Society fur babies for this family, all the way).
But there are times when the fur babies drive me just a little cuckoo-for-cocoa-puffs. Take this instant. The cat is taking a few laps across my desk and laptop in her morning affection ritual. Oh, and the dog finally got done alternating between sniffing the cat’s butt and laying his 70 pound head on my forearm. Who knew that the pets would suffer from sibling rivalry so badly? The dog loves the cat. The cat tolerates the dog. But both get twitchy if the other is getting attention from me. Oh, and both have to be in the bathroom if I’m in there, pestering me to pet them. Talk about a captive audience.