February 8th, 2010

Good Grief


Well, it happened.

Dizzy (the cat) died.

We arrived at home as usual, crashing through the door, backpacks and jackets thrown aside and everyone scattering. It was the Ladybug who found him, lying on the bathroom floor, struggling to breathe. I could hear in the panic in her voice as she called me and knew that the time we’d been dreading had arrived. We said our goodbyes and the hub took him for his final visit to the vet.

I realize there’s a bigger perspective here and don’t want to over-dramatize the loss of a animal, as sad as it is. People lose family members, face tragedy and overcome insurmountable odds every day in astounding fashion. My feelings about this loss were not simply about my own sadness, but about the bigger reminder that we are the end all for our kids. We are the comforters and supporters and cheerleaders and providers. Where do our needs, worries and fear fit in the safe space we are creating for our children? Long gone are the days when we had the sweet umbrella of protection over our heads. We are the protectors. I felt the weight of all of this, interwoven with my own grief, as I sat holding my sobbing kids.

And then something remarkable happened.

As we huddled together in our heartbreak, I suddenly appreciated the weight and grip of their bodies. Not only was I hugging them and whispering comforting words into their ears, but they were returning those hugs and saying sweet things. The immense love pouring out of them was an tremendous comfort and I realized I was not only there for them – we were there for each other.

It’s so easy for me to forget in the day to day drudgery of giving and doing for my kids that they have so much to offer me as well. All time and energy and care and that I sometimes think is wasted or leaves me feeling depleted and unappreciated really is an investment that will come back in it’s time.

I am so thankful for the love of a sweet cat. I am even more thankful for the opportunity to appreciate the love of my sweet kids.

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This Weeks Tip

Admit it, you’ve done it. You’ve tried to cut your child’s bangs the morning before a holiday photoshoot or an important tip to grandmas — only to make the “situation” worse. Here’s a tip for cutting straight… take a piece of  Scotch tape and put it UNDER the place where you want to cut. Then cut just above the tape line for a straight and beautiful result!