Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ode to Moms

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!!!

ROW80 Update:

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."


  1. Pet parents have MANY of the responsibilities of any other parents - and I don't think the emotional attachment is any less. It's probably not exactly the same, but it's as strong. And the sacrifices are certainly real. I hope your pug babies treated you very, very well today :-)

    And, if you did any writing, you did more than I did - good on ya!

  2. I'm a dog mom too. Kids and I don't really mesh well, but dogs? Yeah, those are my kind of babies. It's amazing how even with the pooches, there are some definite similarities to parent-child relationships. My dogs are every bit a member of the family and I can't imagine having animals in my life that weren't. I've ran down the street calling for one of my dogs that had gotten loose from the backyard in a Tornado warning before, held them while the puked their dinner in the backyard cause they had an upset tummy, and I'll be darned if they don't make me laugh every single day.

    I spent time with my mother today, but I also spent time just me and the pooches, having a quiet picnic by the lake, because I needed that special time with my babies too. Amazing, amazing babies that they are. Yeah. I agree with you wholeheartedly, I'm the luckiest mom in the world.

  3. Shari - the pugs entertained me while I cleaned up the backyard and did some planting :) I've only gotten a few lines done tonight...

    Sadie - I laugh every single day with these guys. We stayed at my mother-in-laws last night (took her to brunch today) and my little guys would not let us sleep! I woke up at 4am with Guapo barking at some dog cartoon (he thinks they're real).

  4. Enjoyed your post. And it's true, dogs are a HUGE responsibility; whereas I can leave my teenage children home alone for a weekend, the same isn't true of my dog! Love your blog; hope you will come visit mine. Following you on Twitter too. Keep on writing every day; I am convinced it's the secret to success!

  5. Thanks Pam and thank you for tweeting a link of my post :) And I will certainly visit you on your blog.

  6. keeping to goals whether they have numbers or not can be difficult when set in the real setting of life - I have no maternal instincts not even for dogs - i quite like cats because they do not need us - it is the neediness that I don't like - think it might be a genetic thing!!!!

  7. There was a point in time where I didn't want kids either, but marrying a man who did, I had to do some soul searching to decide how I wanted to proceed.

    I'm glad we all have that right to choose, and I think by almost 35 you know your mind in that regard. :)

    We don't have any dogs, because I tell my husband, I have enough to take care of! hahaha

  8. I'm a pet parent too, to my geriatric 65 lb dog, Shadow, my over-protective 12 yr old cat, Shady-cat, and my morbidly obese 8 yr old cat, Lucky. Some days I feel like I have a houseful of children and want Calgon to take me away! But, I'm a huge animal lover....I wouldn't have it any other way.

    I like your goal: write everyday! I never write on the weekends...I need to pick that up!

    Freddy says "hi". :)

  9. Alberta - I'm a cat person too...only the hubby is allergic!

    Kate - Dave is turning 40 this year! I think at this point we are just set in our lazy slothen (is that a word?) days.

    Tiffany - If ONLY Freddy knew who I was :)

  10. Happy belated Mother's Day! I know how you feel - we've got two male cats and... yea, they need mothering...


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