Children of the Earth

I have never thought of my dogs and cats and other animals, both pets and farm, to be my children.

It just wasn’t what they were to me.

That does not mean that they aren’t important to me. That does not mean that I don’t love them dearly.

But they are not my children.

Now I do have siblings that see their dogs and/or cats as their children. It was never strange to me that this could be. We each need different things as we are all different people. The reasons for why some of my siblings look at their pets and think, ‘this is my child,’ just as there are reasons where I don’t.

What I do see when I look at my cat, or my dogs is a companion that is a part of my family, but not my child. They are dearly loved and I am ever grateful for the years that we travel through life together. There have been times when they were watching over and taking care of me and just as many times where I was taking care of them. Both instances were also hand in hand with us having our own lives separate though we do take time to just sit and be with one another.

For are those not things that companions have with one another?

I had a friend ask me once if I understood why others would look at their pets and think ‘children.’ I answered that I understood in a way. One of my siblings and his wife are unable to have children. They have two little dogs and three cats and are parents to those five little furballs. These are the grandchildren they show to my mother when she goes to visit and these are the grandchildren that my mom greets and loves just the same.

I have a sister that has two fine human boys as well as several other children in the form of a little dog and several cats. She loves them all just as much as the others. She mourns when some of her children reach the ends of their natural life long before she does, but that pain doesn’t stop her from loving them just the same.

I have another sister who is single with no human children, but has an aging cat that she took in as her child when the cat was already half-way through the cat’s natural lifespan. For a short time we had that cat with us at the last house when my sister was staying at a place that didn’t allow pets. Said sister rejoiced when she got a new apartment because it meant she could live with her little daughter again.

Again, I have another sister (yes, my parents had eight kids, there’s a ton of us) who does not view her pets as children. She still loves them and mourns them when they reach the ends of their lives. She has always been the quickest of my siblings to bring home dogs and cats because those animals actually followed her home of their own free will. They are still considered members of her family, but they are not her children.

Family and friends come in all shapes and sizes and species. They come at different times in our lives. Many come as complete surprises while others were carefully planned, but they come all the same. But just as humans need different things at different times, the same is true of dogs and cats.

Each being on this planet is different, even, or maybe especially, those that are of the same species.

There are, after all, just as many stories out there about animals adopting orphaned young from a completely different species. (In fact, I have a pair of ducks that hatched and raised a pair of chickens who follow them everywhere, as well as a pair of dogs that have three young, two of which are cats while the third is their own actual blood offspring.)

Springtime – Manic Monday

If it’s Springtime in Utah, my true love gave to me…

Twelve birds trying to pen-brake
Eleven hours of watching MASH
Ten cabinet doors to hang
Nine sleeping dogs and cats
Eight beings with coughs in the house
Seven humans on our land
Six weeks and counting
Five packages of tp in the store
Four adults going nuts
Three dogs that are happy
Two cats that are not
And waking up to freshly fallen snow

So life took an extra turn when I woke up to frozen solid animal waters and snow on the ground. The best part was that I was so tired that I didn’t even notice until my eldest nephew pointed it out to me. I’d been out there before he had when most everything was kind of frost covered and I hadn’t even noticed.

This wasn’t the first time since the Spring Equinox that I’d woken up with snow outside, so I’ve kind of had parts of this bouncing around in my head for a few weeks. Finally got to get it all out, though. (And the reference to coughs was that we all had colds of various degrees. We were tested and came back negative, but somehow still passed our colds off to the dogs. Everyone’s getting better, though.)

Movement, Please

Can’t seem to move forward
Really thought this’d have some momentum
Aware this slump will pass
Waiting while backsliding
Learning lessons again and again

Sorry. Was feeling a little down there for a bit, but my nephew came in and helped me with something completely unrelated to what I was down about and now I feel better.

Sometimes we really do need all the reviews for life lessons that we can get because we’re human. We’re not always going to remember what they are.

Like In Stories

Perhaps you think it’s nothing
Lost in the mess of life
Often no good can come of pain
Though often enough, you forget the joy of dancing in the rain

I’ve been thinking today about how my brother met his wife. Their’s is my second favorite love story and not, as some of my friends would likely say, because of how they met, but because they’ve had hard times and worked hard to come through them as they entered them.

Together.

Because when something or someone is the most important to you, you aren’t going to let anything else get between you or they. They loved each other and wanted to always stand together even if they were trying not to fall over as the ground rumbled and heaved beneath them. I’ve watched their love for one another grow and it is beautiful.

As for how they met?

They were introduced over a dead body.

They had both been called to stay with a friend who had gone to check on an elderly relative only to find said relative had passed. My brother and sister-in-law managed to get there before paramedics and sat with their friend in the room with his relative. So they were introduced over a dead body.

Their friend was at their wedding and reception and said something about how only these two would make a connection at a time like that, but he was glad they did so.

We always need a reminder that there are good things in life, most especially when it seems life is at its darkest for us.

 

Children of All Species – Thankful Thursday

Today I’m grateful for the creation of child gates. I have used them for my nieces and nephews and for my nephew’s cat’s kittens and now I’m using several for that same nephew’s dog’s puppies.

They are truly a wondrous creation and I, for one, am highly grateful to whoever not only created them, but made them affordable. Because we only owned one last week and have to buy at least another this weekend in order to expand the pen as the pups grow larger. (The store was all out of the kits that made indoor pens for puppies and it’s too soon to have them outside. It snowed a lot yesterday and snowed some more today. Also, there was hale and I don’t want them hit by hale when they’re this small. It would be dangerous. And they can climb out of the kiddie pool we originally had them in.)

(Also, I’m grateful for tarps to protect my carpet and twine to hold the corners together.)

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image: Helena and Vincent’s pups; from martha0stout’s phone

Dungeons – Thankful Thursday

So around the New Year, my eldest nephew asked if we could hold weekly Dungeons and Dragons games as a family. He very rarely ever asks to do anything as a family even once every few months, let alone something that would be a weekly occurrence. My sister immediately agreed and so since then, each week my sister, her three teenagers and myself meet to play Dungeons and Dragons at our kitchen table. We have three players (my sister and her two sons) and two Dungeon Masters (my niece and myself).

Why have two DMs, you may ask?

Well, my niece isn’t fond of D&D when as a player, but didn’t want to be the normal DM. I love creating stories and adventures, but sometimes can’t talk for hours at a time or other difficulties pop up. So my niece is my assistant and we pretty much split the world we’re using. If it takes place in one of my countries, I’m main DM (barring physical difficulties). If it’s in one of my niece’s countries, she’s the main DM.

Regardless, we all still have to be at the table each week and take part in the game.

As a result, everyone’s gotten better at communicating throughout the week because we have to get along to a certain degree or the D&D session comes to a quick end no matter what.

So I’m thankful for my nephew’s idea of playing Dungeons and Dragons as a family, because we’re all learning how to communicate better and are closer as a family.

Expected

Just going to keep going
Onward till the end
Because there was no one else around

That moment when you’re the most knowledgeable in your family to help the dog deliver her first litter because you were the goat midwife. (Which also was a default, because the goat was due that weekend and you were the only person who couldn’t drive granny and the children into town for appointments. So that meant it was your job to watch and aid the goat if needed.)

There are just so many jobs that people become skilled in by simple virtue of the fact that there was no other person around and the job still had to be done.