Consider yourself warned!
A guide for those who think they want children.
I have to admit. I am so proud of my daughter. She has become quite the activist. It all started her junior year of high school when she became concerned with the environment. One of her teachers told the class some statistic about the fate of the world and the next thing I knew, an environmental activist was born! Her activism began at home. No longer could we use liquid soap. That was not earth friendly because of the plastic containers. Now, I buy bar soap. When I got a Keurig, we had to get the reusable coffee pods. This actually made sense in two ways, it decreased the amount of plastic we were using, and it saved money in the long run. Have you seen how much a box of Keurig pods cost? Believe you me, a bag of ground coffee is much cheaper and lasts longer. All throughout her junior year, my daughter researched environmental issues and decided that she wanted to make an impact on this world. That is why I was not surprised that when Greta Thunberg came to New York City to rally and protest, my daughter was right there with her. I was so proud.
My daughter not only researches environmental issues, but she is up on current events. Thanks to social media, she knows all about Black Lives Matter movement and the injustices that people of color experience. So, when the rallies and protests first started, I was not surprised when my daughter told me that she just HAD to protest. I have to admit, I had seen some of the protests on the news. Of course, the news focused mainly on the not so peaceful protests. As a parent, part of me didn’t want to let her go. I wanted to keep her locked up at home, safe from the evils of the world. But, we all know that is not realistic. Besides, who am I to hold her back? Protesting was something that she strongly felt she needed to do. If I held her back, what message would I be teaching her? She needed to follow her spirit, so I let her go. It was hard to do. I was fearful for her safety, but luckily, the protest she attended was a peaceful demonstration. There were no altercations with the police. I am thankful for that. I’m also glad my daughter went to her protest. So many times, it is easy to sit back and complain. My daughter followed her spirit and took action.
Her activism isn’t going to end. She’s already expressed how she is going to find an organization in college to work with. I’m so happy for her! It is such a pleasure knowing that she is growing into a person of action. I can’t wait to see what she does with her life!
Trust me. As a parent, it is very hard, but we need to have the strength to step back to give our children the freedom to go out and experience the world on their terms. There will be times when they will fall. But, there will also be times when they will surprise and amaze us with their accomplishments. We just need to be there providing them the encouragement they need to find their path.
So, now you know and you can … Consider Yourself Warned!
Parents, did you ever step back and let your kids do something you weren’t too thrilled about? How did it turn out?
A few months ago, I told my kids that I would get them a dog. At the time it sounded good. Then, I started thinking. Both of these kids will be leaving for college in August. What will happen to the dog then? I mean, I’m sure I’ll like the dog and all, but I don’t want to take care of it. Having a pet will be like having another kid. I would have to make sure that it is fed, that it gets its daily exercise, and has all its shots. I don’t want to do that.
So after much thought, I made the executive decision not to get the dog. My daughter was fine with the decision. She was still on the “I’m going to college soon” high. My son, well, he was disappointed. He had been looking forward to having a dog. He even offered to take it to college with him. In my mind, I said to myself, “Yeah right!” I can see it now. He and his friends will get bored on a Saturday night. One of them will say, “Hey I know. Let’s see what happens when we get the puppy drunk. “ Right. I don’t think so.
But here’s the funny thing, after we had all gotten used to the idea of not having a pet, we kind of, sort of ending up with not one, not two, but three by default. Let me tell you how. A few weeks ago, my daughter noticed that a feral cat and her kitten had been living in my neighbor’s garage which is behind her house. Since our houses are semi-attached, so are our backyards. After my daughter pointed out that the cats were living there, I started noticing them too. My daughter, being the kind, compassionate person she is, decided that we should feed them. I was fine with it, but since the cats technically were living in my neighbor’s garage, I told her that we had first to ask our neighbor if she knew that the cats were back there, and if she didn’t mind that we fed them.
So we spoke to my neighbor. She told us that she knew that there were cats back there. In fact, she had been feeding them herself and she didn’t have a problem with us feeding them too. So, my daughter and I went to the store that same day for cat food. Now, every day, usually at least twice, sometimes three times a day, one of us will go out and feed the cats. At first, they whenever they heard us coming out the back they would run and hide. Now, when they hear us coming, they don’t even bother to hide. They literally wait for us to go back into the house and usually, by the time we look out of the kitchen window, they are eating. Those cats have gotten so used to us that my daughter told me that one day after the cats finished their food, the kitten looked up and locked eyes with her. My daughter thought, “Ummm. I wonder if the kitten is still hungry?” So she put more cat food out. By the time she got back into the kitchen and looked out of the window, the cats were eating again! That kitten has her trained!
I don’t mind feeding the feral cats. As far as I’m concerned, I have the best of all worlds. I have the cats patrolling the backyard a few times a day, I don’t have to take them to the vet and pay for shots and all, I don’t have to buy kitty litter as so far they haven’t done their “business” in the backyard. And their presence is actually doing me a favor. As long as they are around, the mice stay away. Besides, when I need a break from work, I look out the window to see if they are out playing around. I actually get a little worried if I haven’t seen them all day. The little kitten is soooo adorable. She is so full of energy. Its fun to watch her jumping all around, exploring new things. Sometimes, I want to run outside and hug her! Lord help me! I need to get out of this house soon to be around people (other than my kids) again!
Now you may be saying to yourself, “SassyGirlTye, you said you had three pets. You only told us about two” And you are correct. Every few days another cat comes around. We don’t know if this is a feral cat or not because it looks like its well-kept, but sometimes it eats like it hasn’t been fed for a while. We suspect that this is the daddy cat because the kitten looks a lot like him, and the mama cat hasn’t run him off.
So, this just shows that you don’t always have to buy an animal to have a pet.
No you know and you can … Consider Yourself Warned!
Parents, what have you done if your kids wanted pets, but you didn’t?
SassyGirlTye lives with her two wonderful teenagers in Brooklyn, New York. No matter what she says in her posts, she truly loves her children with all her heart.