Adult Kid

We’ve all heard the tired cliché, “Wait until you have kids of your own; then you’ll understand.”

Usually, we get this from our parents with whom we’ve had some disagreement or misunderstanding, or yes, even a full-fledged screaming match (e.g. with Mom…again).

::rolls eyes::

But how often do we think about when we are old and gray like our parents?

Newborns

Parents of newborns deal with late night feedings, messy diaper changes, inconvenient spills, a barrage of items to tote around (don’t forget to get the baby), and having to adhere to an infant’s schedule.

Babies are so tiny and helpless, AND WE ADORE THEM! You could be exhausted, drained, tired, on the brink of an anxiety attack; and yet you* will still get up each and every time the baby monitor starts lighting up like Times Square on New Year’s. They can’t thank you or call out, except for the crying, and yet you don’t resent them.

*”You” in this case refers to good mothers and/or fathers, where such is the case. Depressingly enough, we all know some lame moms and dads.

::rolls eyes::

 

Not So Newborn

But as the children get older, parents often talk about how hard it is, how unappreciated they are.

The kids begin talking (complaining) and doing (asking you to do) more and more things for themselves, and you begin to notice all the little AND big things you do for them that go unnoticed, and without a thank you. I mean sometimes, you get a loose hug or a forced, “Thanks mom”, but more often than not, your children will take you for granted, and yet you continue to cater to their every need, demanded and unspoken alike.

They think you are a pain, or uncool, and that YOU just don’t understand what THEY are going through, what they want or what they need.*

*Some of you who know me and my family, are thinking, just wait ’til your 9-year-old daughter is a 13-year-old nightmare.

I know, I know. I have a loooooooong way to go before I’m licensed to preach, but I have learned a thing or two from my own parents along the way and from the relationships I’ve been able to observe around me.

And, unfortunately, myself to be included, we are mostly failing, not at parenting our children, but at taking care of our “Adult Kids”.

Adult Kids

What the heck is an “Adult Kid”?

And please don’t misinterpret this as a derogatory term.

As far as your parents are concerned, you will always be their “baby“, but, unfortunately, at one point in their lives the roles begin to reverse and they become an “Adult Kid”.

Several years ago, this short anecdote was brought to my attention by my father. I don’t have the original he showed me then, but there are several versions you can find around the internet. This one is from Snopes.

******

The Wooden Spoon

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year old grandson.

The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered.

The family ate together at the table.

But the elderly grandfather’s shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth. The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess.

“We must do something about Grandfather,” said the son. I’ve had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor.

So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner.

There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was now served in a wooden bowl.

When the family glanced in Grandfather’s direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone.

Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

The four-year-old watched it all in silence.

One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, “What are you making?”

Just as sweetly, the boy responded, “Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food from when I grow up.”

The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.

That evening the husband took Grandfather’s hand and gently led him back to the family table.

For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family.

And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth got soiled.

Children are remarkably perceptive. Their eyes ever observe, their ears ever listen, and their minds ever process the messages they absorb. If they see us patiently provide a happy home atmosphere for family members, they will imitate that attitude for the rest of their lives.

*******

The Shift

Somehow, as we get older, our responsibility as a parent and adult becomes more important than our responsibility as sons and daughters, or even as brothers and sisters.

“We” are no longer our parent’s problem, and we’ve got our own problems to deal with. Our parents take a backseat to our own parenting. Suddenly they find themselves with no one to look after them. Suddenly, there isn’t a family unit that can depend on each other; instead, everyone has been broken off into independent sectors. To each his own.

The truth is your parents, grandparents, or even siblings may eventually become as time consuming and/or costly as your own children. They need to be taken care of; perhaps even fed, bathed, or changed; taken to the doctor or market. They need to be nurtured, talked to, and listened to just like your kids do. They need love and attention, even when it is burdensome.

No one will admit that their children can feel like a burden, because they think that will make them sound like a bad parent; however, how quick we are to express how much of a heavy load our elders have become.

Your parents would never choose to put a strain on your life, in the same way a baby doesn’t choose to come into this world.

 

100/100 or 50/50 ?

We demand so much of our parents and elders, whom rarely demanded such from us. No one is saying it is easy to care for either an infant or an elderly person; nor am I suggesting one can’t voice their discontent or frustrations. We are only human. However, we must not forget our Duty. Yes, we LOVE our family, and we should do all things out of love.

But guess what?

Love is about sacrifice, and sacrifice usually means doing something you don’t really feel like doing. I read a quote on Facebook today about marriage being 100/100, rather than 50/50. You have to be willing to give everything; and this applies to any relationship with a loved one, not just marriage.

We have to love and support each other even when it is hard and inconvenient; even when we do not think our actions will be reciprocated.

Often times our loved ones ARE aware of the lack of attention and of just how much of a hindrance they have become in our lives. To the point where some begin to wonder, “is this really living?” and “is this really worth living?”

Life can be difficult enough when you are young, healthy, and independent; imagine how it must feel for your elders, or those who are sick and dependent on others for care.

That short story really touched my heart years ago; it still gets to me every time I read it. Yet I can’t say that I have done much to change. As of late, however, it keeps coming to the forefront of my mind.

And although the main focus of this post has been that we should care for our elderly loved ones, it is really a call in general to not abandon your family. No matter the distance (please do not break out into the Backstreet Boys), no matter what may occur between you and your loved ones; forgive and forget, move on and love on.

1 John 4:20  (NIV)

Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

REMEMBER: Kids are like sponges, observing and ABSORBING everything around them. Let them observe and Absorb your good ways.

Ephesians 6:1-3 (NIV)

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

Challenge

I challenge all (10 of you reading this) to take just 5 minutes out of each day for your parents, grandparents, or any loved ones that might need your love and attention. 5 minutes is a mere .3% of your day. YES, POINT 3 Percent. Not even 1 %!

Do the math. You spend a lot more time in the bathroom doing your necessities, so to speak; let alone on useless nonsense like social media and the internet.

::raises hand::

(Guilty as Charged)

Leviticus 19:32 (NIV)

Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord.

1 Timothy 5:1-2 (NIV)

Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.

Being a Good Human is Hard Enough

Each morning I wake up easy enough. Then again, I suppose I shouldn’t say “easy“. I toss and turn and SNOOZE 3,4,5 times? And like quicksand, the more I resist the deeper I sink.

I mean “easy” in that for the most part we don’t have to think much about your actions.

MORNING ROUTINE

1: Open your eyes

2: Take that first morning breath, or let out that first morning sigh (especially on Mondays).

3: Throw the sheets off your body and swing your legs over the side of the bed.

All simple things we don’t think twice about. 

Drag yourself to the toilet, then the sink, wash your face, brush your teeth, peruse the closet, choose an outfit, then shoes (some of us my take a tad longer with this part), apply makeup.  

Besides the harrowing decision of which pumps to wear, in general, none of these are very tasking deeds, nor do they require any ethical, moral or common sense decisions.

Although, I will say it does take some common sense to look in a mirror BEFORE walking out the door in some outfits. Something I have forgotten to do all too often.

Why didn’t I get rid of that blouse the last time I hated it. -_-

Needless to say, there are a lot of people lacking in this area.

The HARD part of getting up each day is figuring out how to be a good wife, a good mother, good daughter, sister, aunt, employee, boss, friend, Christian, Buddhist. 

Being a good human is hard enough; a good Christian, damn near mythological feat. I mean right there I just sinned. 

Whatever you are, even an atheist, it takes dedication and constant application to convince people that something doesn’t exist; particularly, invisible fantastical beings like God (although I see him all around), or the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Santa, The Abominable Snowman, Big Foot.

Did I just compare Jesus to characters from children’s tales? 

Yes, I did.

Isn’t that what many think He is, just a great character from the past?

SANTA

Santa is based on the story of Saint Nicholas, Jolly Old St. Nick. He was a real man, who couldn’t go down chimneys or fly around on a sleigh; or walk on water or heal the sick; however, he did bring happiness to many needy children and families in real life.

Matthew 19:21 (NIV) Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 

“Obeying Jesus’ words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.” (StNicholasCenter.org)

I think it’s wonderful for kids to believe in Santa. He isn’t make-believe. The same goes for Jesus. Once kids are too old, or stop believing, or find out from friends that Santa “isn’t real”, the explanation really shouldn’t be so complicated.

You see, St Nicholas (Santa) WAS a man, a Christian. He loved Jesus, and he loved to help people. The tradition of Santa Claus has been kept alive through parents, to honor the good Nicholas did, and to give children something good to look forward to and someone positive to look up to.

Don’t skip the next section because I titled it Jesus. You made it this far.

JESUS

Jesus may not be on earth today, but He was a man, He did exist, and while He was here He did many great things. Why? Because He loved us. And whether or not you believe that He resurrected, or is in heaven, or that He is actually God AND the Holy Spirit, you can at least still believe what He once was, what “men” once wrote about Him, the same way “men” wrote about Saint Nicholas.

You can live your life in a way that glorifies His life, His purpose; that sheds light on the good He did, and more importantly, WHY He did it—out of love and the simple goodness of His heart with no gains.

If Jesus, the man, went to heaven, wouldn’t you want to go there too when you die?

Whether Jesus was God or just a simple man, doesn’t He sound like someone you want to be more like?

You can’t work your way to heaven?
The Bible teaches that you cannot go to heaven through works alone. You have to believe in Jesus and the whole “story”

I understand that; I get it.

You can’t out exercise a poor diet.

But whenever someone does something good, any good action, whether they like it or not, they are representing what Jesus stood for and glorifying him. They are eating His fruit AND exercising His good works at the same time.

Is it easy to be a good person? No.

Is it easy to do what you know and feel is right even when others tell you not to waste your time, because others don’t care, and won’t reciprocate? No.

Is it easy to believe in something or someone that you cannot see? No.

But Jesus doesn’t take the form of one man or thing, but many. Men and women, doing good all over the world. Jesus is Amorphous. He is a budding flower, a cloud, a snowy mountain top, the growing green blades of grass, a sweet melody, a ripe fruit, a beautiful creature (even ants -_-), a crying infant, a walking toddler, a smiling child, a helpful sibling, a loving parent, a sweaty laborer, and whether we like to believe it or not even some lawyers and politicians.

He is all around us in everything we see and do. 

So one myth (Jesus) yielded another (Santa). Well, folktale or not, I hope He leads me to become a legend as well. 

DOING GOOD

I guess it is inherently selfish, because doing good makes YOU feel good, so in the end you are really just pleasing yourself…

But also, hopefully, by doing good you make others feel better and motivate others to do good and seek good in turn.

If you don’t know me, you might be thinking, “Gosh, this girl is a Jesus FREAK!”

Hardly.

I just believe what I believe, and I’m not afraid to say it. I make plenty of mistakes and my fair share of bad decisions. And among other things, I curse…occassionally…like a sailor.

So, I guess the question is: How can I be a good person all around? How can I do right by everyone around me, keep a sane mind and somehow be happy also?

It is really hard. 

I can’t, by myself. 

I’m not perfect, and I don’t want to be perfect.

But I do want to be good…

And I will keep keep trying. 

The Tooth Fairy “pays” a visit

My oldest son is 6 years old. He just recently had his first loose tooth. He would not let anyone touch it, so it hung in there until the last thread of gum gave out.

My mom sent me the picture of the gaping hole after he finally lost his tooth one day while at her house. His eyes were beaming with joy.

When I picked him up that night after work, he showed me the tooth excitedly. Abuela started to tell him how “el ratoncito” was gonna pay him a visit.

Seriously, a rat is going to visit you to take your tooth away and leave you money? I quickly interrupted her creepy Cuban fairytale, and told Gaby how the Tooth Fairy would be coming to leave him a surprise under his pillow.

“YES!” He said pumping his fist. “The Tooth Fairy is gonna bring me a lot of dollars!”

He brought his bottom front tooth home bundled up in a piece of crumpled Bounty, inside a Ziploc bag.

That night, after story time with his brothers and sisters, I reminded him that the Tooth Fairy would be visiting him.

“But Daddy says the Tooth Fairy isn’t real,” he said forlornly.

Luckily, my husband couldn’t see the little flames that flickered in my eyes.

I texted him immediately, “The Tooth Fairy is REAL.”

“Go ask your father again. He was probably just confused.”

They all ran to the living room, except their baby brother, David, of course; he’s only three months old.

When they came back, Gaby was happy again because Daddy had said the Tooth Fairy WAS real.

“See, I told you. Now lay down so we can pray, and you can go to sleep so the Tooth Fairy can come.”

“Oh, No! My tooth is in the kitchen,” he cried like the true drama king that he is.

I assured him that I’d get it when he went to sleep, and place it under his pillow for him. Sofy turned off her night light, and we prayed while I finished giving the baby his bottle. Usually, Gaby is asleep before I even say,”Dear Lord, thank you for this day.” Or as Vicky says, “Dear Lauren.” But tonight I noticed he was quite fidgety.

“Gaby, what’s wrong?”

“I’m scared the Tooth Fairy is going to come, and I’m going to see her.”

I was a little surprised at his sudden fear, but as I left the room, I assured him,”She’ll come while you’re sleeping. Don’t worry. Goodnight guys. Love you.”

No sooner did I put the baby in his crib and lay down in my bed, than he was standing right next to me.

“Hey, buddy.”

“Mommy, I’m scared to see the Tooth Fairy.”

I propped myself up on one arm and caressed his terrified face. “Okayyyy. How about I put the tooth under my pillow instead? And she’ll leave you a surprise here.”

He shook his head in agreement. I got up and walked him back to bed. He has his own room, but he sleeps in his sister’s room, on the top bunk.

“Alright, good night. Remember, you are here with Sofy, but you really have nothing to be afraid of.”

I kissed his worry creased forehead, went back to my room, put the Ziploc under my pillow and lay down again. Not 2 minutes later he was at my bedside.

“Gaby you have to go to sleep. We all have to be sleeping or the Tooth Fairy won’t come.”

“But what if she goes in Sofy’s window instead of your room, and she goes to my bed,” he asked, wringing his hands nervously.

“Uhhhhh. Quick, think fast”, I thought to myself. Ah ha!

“You know what? I checked online, and the Tooth Fairy is not working tonight. So you don’t have anything to worry about.”

That’s it, moms.

Give up.

That’s parenting, on the spot, at it’s best.

I’m. A. Genius!

WHAT?!? She’s not coming. She’s not gonna bring me lots of dollars?” He was flabbergasted, as was I!

I looked over at my husband who had been listening as the drama unfolded. Both of us mouth agape.

#ParentingFail.

So, I got up and led him back to his bed, again.

“Okay, listen Gaby. The Tooth Fairy is very nice and very smart. She’s like Santa, kind of. She won’t come unless we’re all sleeping. I promise you won’t wake up and see her. And to be sure I’m putting the tooth under my pillow. She can sense where the tooth is. Please don’t worry.”

I kissed him goodnight and went back to my bed.

I peeked in on him after a few minutes. He tossed and turned for quite a bit, and had the covers pulled up over his head, hiding. But eventually, sleep overtook him.

The next morning he found five 2 dollar bills in the Ziploc under my pillow. I think they are lucky [another unfounded Cuban belief. #Guilty] and I had hoped it was enough restitution for the emotional strain of the Tooth Fairy’s visit.

“Sofy! Vicky! Look what the Tooth Fairy brought me, a hundred dollars!”

What?

“No. No, Gaby, that’s TEN dollars!”

Oh boy.

25 Years and Counting

When I was 7 and my older sister was 9, my mom had another baby.

It wasn’t planned, but Martha came into our world on June 4th, 1989.

Boy was she needy, hungry, sleepy, whiny, noisy, angry, and stinky… She was like the 7 dwarfs balled up into this one little 8 pound bundle. But she was already as beautiful as snow white. Shiny dark brown hair (ignore the spikiness); delicate fair skin; big “innocent looking” brown eyes.

She was a blessing in disguise, a REALLY good disguise. She grew from a semi-controllable infant in a small play-yard, into a wild toddler who was convinced the whole house was her play-yard.

At an early age I knew she would be athletic. She had a knack for throwing things, HARD, at me specifically. I’m talking about toys, jars of baby food (glass jars), scissors. Yes, even scissors. You know kids, and their aversion for haircuts. Whatever thingamabob she had at hand was a possible projectile. She’s always had a unique way of showing affection.

I was used to being the annoying lil’ sister, but this was a “whole new world”.

You see most people have to become famous to have a groupie. But not me, oh no, I had thee #1 groupie/stalker. She was with me ALL the time. She even gave up her bigger, cooler room upstairs, to share, or rather, takeover my smaller, but comfortable, room downstairs.

Don’t get me wrong. It was great. Who doesn’t want to be able to recite every disney movie from memory, or share a bed with stuffed animals.

Although there was a big age difference, we actually got along pretty well, once she got out of the “throwing phase”.

My parents worked hard to provide for us. Between their time consuming work schedules, and the language and cultural barriers of being older, Spanish speaking parents, they missed a lot of activities.

So, l walked her to class, took her to pool parties and ice skating parties, cheered at her volleyball and basketball games, put my life at risk to give her driving lessons, helped her with essays and boys. I don’t know which was harder.

Really, we were both learning and growing up.

She taught me about patience and playing. She kept me young and grounded when I could’ve been a rebellious teen. She helped prepare me for the most important role of my life, Motherhood.

Somewhere along the line, she went from baby sister, to pain in the butt teenager, to the beautiful young woman she is today.

We spent so much time together, painting our nails, renting movies at blockbuster, going shopping, talking, playing with makeup, mostly just being foolish.

I was lucky. Until the day I got married, my best friend slept over every night.

A quarter of a century has passed and she’s still needy, hungry, sleepy, whiny, noisy, angry and stinky. We don’t call her Marta Farta for nothing. But she’s also a lot of other good adjectives that end in y, too. 😉

I’m so grateful that she came into our lives. I’m so proud of the beautiful, funny, intelligent woman she has blossomed into. Another 25 years can pass and she’ll still be my baby sister, but more importantly, she’ll still be my best friend.

Happy Birthday.

Anonymous Pain

What follows is the story of an anonymous girl.

We will file it under fiction, because it must be, fiction.

More people should tell their stories.

************

Years later, everyone smiled as if nothing had happened, as if she had kept her secret.

Her heart sank each time.

She did not wish him ill, but it was a dagger that plunged deeper with each passing day.

******

She was 13 or 14. She had stayed home with him, while everyone else went to the airport to pick up a visiting family member. It was a joyous occasion, as they had never been able to visit before, and it was suspected that they might stay permanently.

She sat on the bed in her sister’s room, and watched television, while eating Eggo’s. It was about 9:30 at night, but it’s never too late for Eggo’s.

He waltzed through her open doorway, in his brown loafers, red sweatshirt and cargos, with his foolish grin, and Black on the rocks in hand. He stared at her glassy eyed.

She felt her cheeks redden as he approached her; she fixed her gaze on the tv, and took another bite. The syrup, or the knot building in her throat, made it difficult to swallow.

He stood by her side and leaned in close to her face. The smell of whiskey and the bristle of his unshaven face made her wince. As she moved away, he placed his hand on her thigh. She stopped chewing. Her hands shook as she held the plate nervously, but she was otherwise paralyzed.

“Give me a kiss,” he said.

She shrugged him off and said,”No, what are you talking about?”

He turned to face her and persisted, all his weight bearing down on her leg.

“Just a lil’ kiss, right here, on the cheek.” He slurred and pointed, then puckered his lips.

She put the plate down on the bed, and got up, pushing past him. She quickly crossed the hall to her room, and dead-bolted the door behind her.

She sat on the bed and tears moistened her cheeks.

What had just happened? Was she overreacting? Did she misinterpret him?

He knocked on her door.

“Open the door. I’m not going to hurt you. I was just playing.”

He knocked again, but she remained silent.

It was not the first time she had felt that sickening feeling in the pit of her stomach.

******

One time, he and his family, her family, had been over, and he had asked her to give him a back massage. Young and naive, she was proud to show off her skills and began to karate chop across his upper back.

Everything was fine, as she pounded away on his back with her fists.

“Sit on my back,” he suggested.

“Where?” She asked, obviously having misunderstood back for bed.

“Sit on my back. You know, so you can get a better angle.”

She was maybe 12 or 13; young, but old enough to know this didn’t feel right.

“I’m kind of tired, actually. Sorry.” She apologized to him, and walked away to the kitchen where she knew others were talking and snacking.

******

She thought she had been imagining things that first time, but this was something different.

Once the family got back from the airport, she ventured out of her room to welcome the visitor.

Everyone was so happy.

He acted like nothing had happened; wouldn’t so much as look at her.

I’m not gonna ruin everyone’s happiness when nothing happened. They’re just gonna think he was joking around as usual, anyways.

******

She was a month away from turning 17, when her parents went out of town for a week.

He and his family always stayed with her and her little sister while their parents were out of town. He had always been like a big brother, like the son her parent’s had never had.

She wasn’t feeling well, and signed herself out of school early one day.

He was at the house when she got there, checking in on some work that was being done in her parent’s yard.

She sat outside on the patio and looked at the progress they had made. There were 2 or 3 workers clearing weeds, planting new trees, and pouring fresh mulch. She sat on a rocking chair to enjoy the refreshing springtime breeze.

When he spotted her, he went to the patio and sat across from her.

“What are you doing home early?”

“I wasn’t feeling well,” she said, overlapping both hands across her stomach. She was already starting to feel worse.

“How’s your boyfriend? Gonna see him today?” He asked, rocking casually.

“He’s fine. You know I can’t go out ’til my parents get back.” She frowned at him thinking, “you’re supposed to be the adult here.”

“I could teach you things.” He leaned forward, speaking more quietly now.

“About what?”

“I’m sure you guys kiss. Do you do anything else?”

“What?”

She hesitated, but then was certain of what she had heard.

“What kind of question is that? It’s none of your business.” She felt more uncomfortable now, but the workers were around so she still felt safe.

“Don’t be shy. I can show you how to do everything. We can go to a motel, right now. I’ll be gentle.” He reached out for her hand, but she pulled it away from the arm of her rocker just in time.

“I have to go.”

She got up abruptly and headed for the door.

Where’s my backpack? Where are my keys? She scanned the room frantically, blind.

The door closed again behind her, and she turned to see him steps away.

<strong>There, at the end of the counter, my keys. She reached for them just as he reached for her arm.

She tried to pull away, and stared at him, her heart pounding in her chest. He gripped her forearm tightly.

“Come on. I promise it won’t hurt. Nobody has to know.”

“I would never do that!”

She shook her arm free and ran for the door. She drove off crying. She just drove and drove.

She drove, until she knew someone else would be home.

******

A couple months after, she worked up the nerve to tell her family.

They believed her, but…

There must not have been enough harm done?

Maybe they all didn’t know the whole story.

Maybe it didn’t matter.

She never saw him again, except now again through the ills of social media; but many of her family did.

And she suffered in silence…wondering all the time if she did right, if she was right, and if they knew it?

Pity Cat

If you utilize any form of social media, then it’s very likely you have encountered the Grumpy Cat meme.
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But…I bet you’ve never seen the Pity Cat meme…
20130523-003611.jpgOk. That is a really cute, sad kitty, but we all KNOW a Pity Cat.

They thrive off your pity and NEED your attention. Yet, rather than get attention by doing something positive, they focus on all the “bad” things that “happen to them” and ONLY them.

As with Grumpy Cat, we often enjoy drama and BS, like Maury and Caso Cerrado, more than we enjoy hearing good uplifting stories.

Pity Cat is often motivated by other Pity Cats through likes and friend requests across the social media board. Some “likers” probably really DO sympathize with Pity Cat. After all, they are sad, annoying, and pathetic.

I warrant I’ve had my fair share of whiny, complaining, “I need a vacay, NOW!” type of post; however, for the most part, I refrain from bombarding timelines.

Side note: I do need a vacation, and I’m taking one this weekend!

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YES!

Typical posts from Pity Cat consist of:

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Ohhh, damn. Traffic, huh? The cars must’ve magically dropped out of the sky and surrounded yours.

We LIVE in Miami! There is always traffic, and yes, an overpopulation of hispanics—Cubans to be exact. And I LOVE IT! In fact, it’s a little off putting that one day, when there isn’t traffic, someone honking at you, or cutting you off, and you actually get somewhere on time. If you DON’T like the traffic, or us “Cubans”, please move away.

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Bills? What are those? Oh, you mean like phone, light, & water bill, rent, car payments, insurance, food expenses, and so on. You’re right, you deserve to win the lottery; nobody else has to work long hours or pay bills.

How about the infamous…

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You know what? I will go over there right now to watch your kid, so you can have that drink!

Put. Down. The bottle! It’s called, Sarcasm!

It really might be 1 drink, but how big is the glass? Or perhaps, just a couple of innocent glasses of wine. After all, leading doctors recommend wine with dinner, right? It really doesn’t matter what they are saying now-a-days; doctors change their minds every time they go to the bathroom. Stop hiding behind statistics, and the latest pill pushing medical reports. It’s like adding “LOL” at the end of a rude or sarcastic message, it doesn’t hide your disdain…unless the person is an imbecile.

#JustSaying #WinkyFace #SmileyFace ❤

Let's face it, it's never 1 drink. You either think you have more tolerance than others, or believe that you know when to stop. Seriously though? I don't know about you other moms, but my kids do NOT sleep through the night, and they are 6, 4 and 2. When it’s not a bad dream, random fever or episode of vomiting, it’s one or more of them asking “mommy, can I sleep with you.” So, what do you do then, that “one” night when you and the bottle finish each other, and your kid wakes up crying, sick, or just scared, and you don’t…

Guess what, Pity Cat? Everyone has tough days, and bills to pay, mouths to feed, and mucho trafico throughout. Stop Winening! (spelling intentional)
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If you think you NEED to drink every day to get the “edge” off, you’re an idiot!
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::remember to insert smiley face to take the edge off::

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Buried Treasure

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Yesterday morning, was the first of three days I took off from work to enjoy my daughter’s spring break with her and her younger siblings.

I had lots of fun activities planned for those three days: the Youth Fair, I couldn’t wait to eat an elephant ear, though not literally; the Miami Seaquarium; the Zoo, where we’d actually see elephant ears, and hopefully the rest of the elephant, but not eat them; maybe catch a movie, eat some junk food, and finally, goof around at Chuck E. Cheese, PLEASE!

It seemed like a lot for 3 days, but I rarely took time off, so really it was just like Make-up Work at school.

We had eaten breakfast together and decided to go out to the lake to see if there were any fish or turtles.

But you know kids, they are easily distracted and find joy in the little things: a gift bag, an empty toilet paper roll, an old box. So, of course, the many sticks and branches the wind had been snapping off the Flamboyant tree instantly became swords, bats, and golf clubs.

After many a close call swinging at an old tennis ball, I decided it looked more like they were aiming at their brother’s head, and called the game. Instead, we started digging for treasure with the fallen branches, I mean shovels.

We poked around near the fence, and I heard a rustling in the neighbor’s hedges.

I probably saw about half of it before it’s charcoal grey body slithered away beneath the brush.

Not wanting to frighten the kids, or end up with a snake up my pants, I calmly watched the bushes, leaves & shadows for signs of the snake’s destination or return; but there was no second act. It was gone. Before I could even see the whole thing, identify it, or examine it, it had slipped away.

“Mommy, help us find the treasure.” They called me back to the small dirt pile we had been digging through. We’d found nothing more than snail shells, small rocks, more dirt, of course, and some beetles.

I smiled at my son and daughters as they grew more and more joyous over these little discoveries. I couldn’t picture a better time or place to be than here in the crisp fresh air, getting dirt in my nails and on my jeans; pondering the impending danger of an anaconda from my neighbor’s bushes; and just playing treasure hunt with the kids. I wanted to hold onto them and this moment, forever.

Life is gone in an instant; before you have a chance to weed out what you are doing wrong, or dig up a way to do it right.

Don’t let it slip away.

Originally posted March 28, 2013

Karl

April 11, 2013

My husband and I have been friends for 17 years.

Together for 16 years.

Pet owners for 13 years…
February 12, 2000
Since it was almost Valentine’s Day, and Gaby had recently had shoulder surgery, I decided a puppy would be a great way to cheer him up.

When Karl first saw me at the pet store, he immediately came up to the front of the cage, while the other two Rat Terrier puppies stayed at the back, seemingly uninterested. Razor sharp nails pushed on the cage door. He licked the cage where I rested my hand and looked at me with those round droopy eyes—a hopeful look that said, “Take me home.”

Minutes later, as I read over his papers, I learned that he and Gaby shared the same birthday, December 6th! What are the chances?

Destiny, I thought.

[As I’m sitting in my car writing this in my memo app, our wedding song comes on the radio, Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Stay Together”. Tears well up, and the letters blur as I type. It reminds me that Karl was some sort of magic; he was with us from the start.]

That day I went to Gaby’s house right away. I put the pup in a small green adidas backpack, placed it on his bed, and left the zipper open just enough for him to pop out.

Gaby nearly fell off the bed when he saw the backpack moving. Something was coming out. Gaby and our friend Edgar laughed when they realized it was just a puppy. He was tiny compared to his new owner, a 6’1″ football player and center, but Karl’s playful heart and big dog attitude made them a perfect match.

We got Karl a cute collar and leash, a number of comfy beds which he usually tore to pieces, and countless chew toys and bones at Pet Supermarket.

He was like our first child. We loved and cared for him jointly, never knowing just how much he had brought us together.
April 11, 2013

In the past year, Karl had grown weaker and weaker from arthritis, among other problems that came naturally with aging. He was always so happy to see us, but we couldn’t be happy watching him become frail and misshapen, living with discomfort regardless of medication.

This morning before leaving to work, I recounted that story to Karl about our first meeting at Puppy Kingdom, and how I surprised Gaby.

“I love you buddy. I love you,” I insisted as I patted his head gently and scratched the black and white fur around his neck. I spoke softly to him as if my words could hurt him as much as they were hurting me.

We made the easy decision to put him to sleep.

I say “easy” because it was only logical; he was sick, barely walking, in pain; his quality of life was dismal at best.

It was following through with that decision that was difficult.

Gaby sent me a picture of him and Karl sitting together in the waiting room at the vet’s office. The sad look on his face, on both their faces…

The Doctor concluded it was the right decision. Turns out, his kidneys were also failing.

I wasn’t there with Karl in the end. I suppose I was just being selfish, but I couldn’t bare for him to look at me with those sad droopy eyes that would say, “Goodbye”.
Karl
12/6/1999 – 4/11/2013