Do you save your kids’ texts? If you’re like me, and never really gave those little pearls much thought (beyond the exasperated eye rolls provoked by said children’s texts), you might want to consider doing it.
Do you hear those voices, too? You know, the voices that attempt to convince your rational self that you’re not original enough or smart enough or talented enough to be a writer? If so, I am deeply empathetic. And relieved I’m not alone.
Have you ever stolen a glance at one of your kids while she’s in the midst of an activity – a routine, unexceptional activity – and felt a love so intense it takes your breath away?
I don’t know about you, but I don’t tend to experience such overwhelming feelings very frequently. When that rare pang hits, it takes me a minute before I realize what’s happening.
For six days, my family and I happily succumbed to the Walt Disney World brainwashing machine. Actually, the inculcation started well before we arrived at Disney – it began the day I booked, continued with email and snail mail missives in the weeks leading up to the trip and didn’t end until we stepped off the Magical Express bus (not to be confused with the Hogwarts Express train) at the Orlando airport to catch our flight home.
As fun as our voluntary subjugation was, however, the best part of the vacation for me had nothing to do with Disney or Goofy or Winnie the Pooh or princesses and everything to do with an impromptu self-imposed social media ban. More on that later. First, some reflections on the land of Mickey.
I’m feeling topsy-turvy. It is the afternoon of March 31 as I write this post, and large wet snowflakes are falling to the ground. It felt like spring this morning, it really did. I took Truffle to the dog park and for the first time this year did not feel uncomfortably cold as I watched him romp with his friends. Alas, the spring tease was not to last. A mere few hours later, it’s barely 40° outside.
Many parents bemoan their teenagers’ moody personalities and ungrateful, complainer-puss attitudes. I am no different – I joined that club years ago, long before Chloe was even officially a teen (she’s always been precocious in that way). Chloe drives me batty sometimes. It’s the job of these half-children half-beasts, isn’t it, to drive their parents batty?
Is it human nature to never be 100% satisfied? It’s a question I’ve been asking myself with ever-increasing frequency over the past couple of weeks after hitting my annual winter low, wondering if the goddamn snow would ever melt (yes, it would and it has, almost) and if the outdoor temperature would ever reach 40° again (yes, it would and it has, although not yet consistently).
I know. You refuse to admit it because it would damage your reputation if you did. But you’ve missed me, haven’t you? I’ve missed you, too, although I’ve honestly missed your adulation more.
Don’t blame me for my absence on this blog. It’s human mom’s fault. She’s been too busy crafting elaborate essays that leave no time for me to make my own artistic contributions to this website. It’s a travesty.
But I’ve finally commandeered the site and boy, do I have a lot to catch you up on since my last post more than six months ago.
Setting the Scene
I’ve discovered that watching movies with Chloe and Sophie is a great way to reassure myself during times of doubt that my girls are actually sentient humans who are capable of feeling compassion and empathy for others.
I have recently learned the hard way, however, that Sophie is more likely to feel compassion and empathy for other animals than for her fellow homo sapiens. It’s not that she doesn’t like people. It’s just that, with the exception of ants, she loves other mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and invertebrates more.