I'm not a mom, but here's a little essay for all those childless folks like myself, but have a different kind of 'child'.
Children. It was the one thing my husband and I had decided early on and one thing we would never waiver on. “We don’t plan on having any,” is the canned response to most inquires regarding kids. We reserve the right to change our minds and accidents do, on occasion happen, but the idea of being parents still daunt us.
Even now, just a few months shy of thirty-five, I have no desire to become a mother. Perhaps I was overlooked the day they passed out maternal instincts. But when I look at my two adopted children, my heart softens and I truly believe that my husband and I were blessed with the best kids a parent could ever have.
You see, my husband and I are owned by two pugs.
I’ll be the first to admit, raising two little guys isn’t the same as being the parent of a child. In some ways, it’s harder. When they're sick, they can’t tell you where it hurts. Unlike children, they are not welcome wherever you go. Most restaurants don’t allow dogs - even those with patio seating. And it’s almost impossible to find a good babysitter.
But in many ways, they’re very much like children. Our pugs appear on our Christmas cards, they go on vacation with us, and when they visit grandma, they get presents. But most of all, they are loved.
As pug parents, we’ve even developed clairvoyant parent-like reflexes. Like when we both wake from a deep sleep just as little Guapo is about to puke his dinner from the night before. Not unlike a mother who briefly loses her child at Wal-Mart, I know the exact moment when my pug escapes from the backyard fence. And almost daily, the house is filled with the sound of my voice, “Stop whatever it is your doing. I can see you from the back of my head!”
Like any good parent, you also make sacrifices for your little ones. We often turn down parties and events to stay home with our kids. We’re limited on where we travel, so we bought an air-conditioned pop-up trailer to stay at campsites, in lieu of hotels, so they can travel with us. Our pugs have spent summers touring Civil War battlegrounds, Spring Break at the beach, and on one occasion, they were even invited guests at our friend's wedding – that just happened to be at a petting zoo.
I worry about things like college too. In my daydreams, Gus is destined for Harvard (yes, he is smarter than most humans) and Guapo will probably end up at some vocational school. But then reality sinks in and I remember they aren’t human. Then I smile at the realization that I don’t need to pay for things like college tuition.
“I am the luckiest mother in the world.”
Happy Mother's Day!! I hope all you moms out there had a great day. You deserve it!!!
I've kept my goals pretty simple: write everyday. You'd think a goal that didn't include word counts would be easy, but it's not. For the most part, I've kept up with my goals since last check-in, but I slacked yesterday...and today. But, I still have another hour or two of writing time before I say "good-night."