Monday, February 12, 2018

When you lose a Love

It’s hard to put into words when you lose one of the great loves of your life. It’s hard to breathe, it hurts to swallow, it’s hard to get out of bed, and its hard to come home and continue through your normal everyday routine of life.

Especially when that love was a four-legged fur ball filled with an abundant amount of unconditional love. No matter how many times you walked past him with your arms filled with groceries, or how many times you were in a hurry to leave the house because you were late to get somewhere, or how many times their slobber dripped on your favorite skirt and you  got upset; their tail continuously wagged, their lips parted with their tongue hanging out as if they were constantly smiling at you, waiting for you to pat them on the head and say “I love you”.

That kind of love isn’t found very often. We, as humans worry every single day, about what we do, how we act, what we wear, and who we talk to; just to be liked, just to be loved, and just to be accepted. But, our dogs don’t care. Our dogs don’t care what type of handbag we carry, what designer we are wearing, what street we live on, what size house we live in, or what type of car we drive. All they care about is that you come home, you love them, you don’t beat or hurt them, and that you give them a little bit of your time, love and attention. That is all they need to know, that you are a good and decent person.

Dogs are the best judges of character. I have been around some wild and hyper dogs, and even some abused dogs, but they know, they sense when you are a good person. And I don’t just mean the kind that will bend down to pet them. I mean the kind of person that is good to the core; whatever that canine sense is, they know when a person is good or bad, and it allows them to calm down, or feel comfortable around that person.

One of my good friends sent me this poem, and I think it perfectly sums up a dog’s life versus that of a human’s life:

The reason why dogs don’t live as long as people according to a 6-year-old:
“People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life. Like, loving everybody all the time, and being nice. Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

I don’t think I could have said it better myself. Dogs are perfect. There is not one judgmental bone in their bodies. If we could all take a note from dogs, and learn to love a little more unconditionally, fight a little less, run a little more, and take a few more afternoon strolls…then I think there would be a lot less abuse, a whole lot fewer divorces, and a lot less pettiness in the world.

I understand the loss of a pet to most isn’t quite as traumatic as the loss of a human family member. But when that pet was there for you at the lowest point of your life, when that pet reminded you, you HAD to get out of bed and function every day, and that pet reminded you that the evil that tore you down and brought you to that horrible place in your life wasn’t worth the tears you shed everyday…is like the loss of a human family member. Just because they aren’t in our lives for 50, 60, or 70 years, doesn’t make them any less important. So why are we expected to bounce back? Why are we expected to go to work, or go to school the next day, as if nothing has happened? Where is our bereavement time? Where is our time to mourn the loss of that wonderful creature that stood beside us, and kept a smile on our face during our darkest hours? Or our time to remember all the wonderful memories we shared over the years?

Judgment, betrayal, anger, and war may be of human nature, but when it comes to the canine world, there is nothing but licks, nudges, and happiness. And there are some days that life in the canine world seems so much sweeter.

Monday, February 5, 2018

My first Project I didn’t do!

I am so proud of myself! I finally didn’t complete something. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life. I know on the outside to some I am a complete mess (hummm hummm my parents). But those people will remain nameless. But considering I work full time, raise three boys, essentially on my own (with a husband who travels A LOT), I volunteer WAY too much, and have dinner to get on, and a household to run…I think I do a pretty good job. But yes, the inside of my car looks like a bomb went off, and even though all the clothes in my laundry room are clean, they may not all be put away in everyone’s closet, and yes there may be Legos all over my living room floor. But one day, I know I will wake up and miss all of this – so they say.

But I digress. Just the other day, my youngest had a timeline project to do. And typically, I just dive right in there and help them do it, for the sake of time, neatness, organization. Because, not judging by the rest of my life or house, I do slightly verge on a minor case of OCD when it come to projects, and crafts, and other things like that. I like organization. The glue to be perfect. The lines to be straight. The colors to be the opposing colors on the color wheel, you know weird OCD things like that.

But this time. I did very little on his project. I guess it took old mom the third child to really release the reigns, and not do her first, 1st Grade project. And, fail as a parent! I am so proud of me for being a failure. What I did do was help him come up with the idea. This little dude loves trains, so we made his timeline on a train. I printed the pictures off the computer, and I cut out the train cars. But my little man did everything else.

He drew the train tracks, he drew the wheels, he glued everything down, he wrote all the words; and even the sunshine in the sky was his Memom that had gone to Heaven six years ago. And you know what? It was the most gorgeous, most perfect 1st Grade project I had ever seen. I made myself cook dinner the entire time he was working on it. I was so proud of him. And better yet, he was so proud of himself. He had done everything on his own.

Letting go is sometimes the hardest thing for a mommy to do, in more ways than one. We know we eventually must do it. Whether it’s with projects in the 1st Grade, summer camp, spend the nights with friends, driving cars, dates, college, or just as adults in general. We hope we have done a good job; and that they make good decisions in life and treat others with respect. And deep down they have good souls. And want to work hard and provide for their families and treat their loved ones with respect.

In fact, my little artist that created his timeline, is on this major entrepreneurial kick right now. And about three weeks ago he and his brother wanted a hot chocolate stand, so we set one up. They had so much fun. We didn’t get that many customers and they were sorely disappointed. So, I had to give them the “Steve Jobs” speech. The one where everyone in the world thought these two guys were nuts for creating this thing called the “desktop computer”. And trying to sell to everyone and thinking everyone would want one in their household. And these two guys started this in their garage. But look at them now. Perseverance.

But my two guys kept getting turned down, and cars kept driving by them, but they kept at it. So just yesterday, he set out into our neighborhood with his little backpack, a thermos of hot water, packets of hot chocolate mix and cups to sell to our neighbors. It was the cutest thing I have ever seen in my life. And this is my shy child-not at home, mind you, but around new people, so this was huge. But I had to let him go. I had to let him walk up to every house on his own (bare in mind I know all our neighbors – so I knew he was safe), but I had to let my little one break out of his shell and experience the fear of door-to-door sales and rejection all on his own. Even though it broke my heart, everyone needs that experience.

But he did it. He got one sale, and lots of rejections. He came home sad, but then ten minutes later, he wanted another go at it. So, you see, as a mom we must let them fail to experience life sometimes. And that is why we can’t make all their projects perfect according to our standards. Failure is part of life. But us letting them fail, is also a part of our lives as parents as well. Unfortunately we can’t put a band-aid on everything.

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Reflection

The older we get the more tarnished the face in the mirror looking back at us becomes. Maybe because of age, because of choices it has made, or because the eyes looking at it aren’t seeing as clearly as they once did.

On the literal side of the age factor and the eyes weakening; that is just a fact of life and something we all must deal with. There will be days we wake up and look at that reflection and go “Well, heck, not too bad today old friend!” But, then there are days that we wake up and say, “Oh my, maybe, we should just start over!”

Not too long ago I was watching an award show, and one of the most gorgeous young actresses was walking the red carpet; with a stunning gown on, and a gorgeous figure. But of course, the only facet of her entire ensemble the media could focus on was the one blemish she had on her entire face.

And we wonder why, as a society we have such self-esteem issues. When one young actress, who is also a top model graces the red carpet, has a single blemish on her face, and that is all the world can focus on. Seriously? Maybe her hormones were acting up. Maybe she ate a piece of chocolate the night before. Maybe she slept with her hand on her face and it created to much oil on her skin. Who cares! She is a young gorgeous person. Let’s talk about the person she is on the inside.

Is she kind? Did she kick a small child on her way into to that red-carpet event? Did she help a kitten out of a burning building? Let’s focus on who she really is, not the fact she has a blemish on her face.

But you know that reflection can go the other direction too. You can have an attractive person and they can have perfectly clear skin, eat healthy, workout, do everything right; and by all intended purposes, “appear” to be a good, attractive person. But their soul has a track record that is never ending.

But my favorite thing about those kind of people, are typically they are the ones posting on social media that they don’t care what people think; or people need to live their own lives; or live your life the way you want.

How about just be a good person in general, make the right decisions, don’t hurt other people, or don’t be ugly to others. And then that way you don’t have to post quotes on social media justifying your actions or decisions. Just do the right thing from the start, that way there is no reason to be ashamed of that reflection staring back at you in the mirror.

So, either way, sometimes that reflection may get a little older, or we may find a blemish or two on it; but it is what is on the inside that counts. And if the outside is what matters the most to you, then maybe the inside needs to have a little of its own “reflection” time.