Thursday, September 18, 2008

Breaking Hearts

We have two cats, Giggles and Pixar, a mother and son duo that we adopted 3 years ago. Giggles is the mom and is the most gentle and loving cat I have ever met. She was named Giggles because at the time each of my kids were allowed to name one. MY son named one Pixar, after the cartoon studio which produced so many of his favorite movies (not bad for 2 1/2 years old) and my daughter could only say one thing at the time "Giggle Giggle". And so, Giggles was named.

Over the past few weeks she had been losing some weight but we chalked it up to a change in food etc. She still seemed healthy in that she was alert and purring, clear eyed, and social. Finally we took her to the vet yesterday to see if they could help her put some weight back on. Honestly I was expecting maybe some meds, a high calorie food something simple. That is not what turned out to be the case.

After a sad diagnosis I was faced with the choice of experimental surgeries costing over 1500$ which would not necessarily rectify the problem, bringing her home and allowing her to die-painfully, or euthanizing her. I am there sobbing, trying to make these decisions which are out of the blue, with my two babies there. I am trying to shelter them from the conversations and a kind nurse tootk them to the waiting room. I wrestled with what to tell the kids--do I lie?

I finally took them to the car, and explained somberly that Giggles was very ill and she would be going to heaven. The kids were beyond surprised and the emotion that came from them was heartbreaking. I asked them if they would like to go inside and say goodbye to her before she went to heaven, they ran inside sobbing.

Once in the room with Giggles the raw expression of saddness broke my heart. Michael asked her not to forget him so they could find each other when he went to heaven. He told her how much he loved her and that she was the best cat in the world. He held her as he said a prayer to God telling Him she was coming and she would be his pet now and to take good care of her.

Even now as I type this my eyes are welling with tears for the heartbreak they suffered yeasterday and pain they experienced. I dont even care about the B.S. people are saying about it being a good lesson blah blah kids experienced pain yesterday which was the worst in their young lives and it was even more painful to watch helplessly.

We are in healing mode today. We will be making a headstone, as suggested by Michael. He wants to then pick some nice sunflowers from the yard to lay at the stone. I will continue to try to bandage their hearts today knowing full well that this is a scar that will remain and all I can do is help it heal over as best I can.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Birthdays and Lost Teeth

It seems as though the past few days have been filled with events that remind me that the kids are growing up--despite my strict directions to them not to. Meg's 4th birthday has arrived and in addition to her proudly declaring "Im 4", she has made a vocabulary change I am sad about. When Meg describes something, she is very animated and wide eyed. And when she wants to drive a thought home she looks like her eyes may just pop out of her head. With this animation comes one of my favorite Meg-isms... "Every mingle one Mom, It was every mingle one." Obviously, mingle replaces single and I love it. I wont correct it--I cant. Well, yesterday she looked at me and told me she ate her chicken nuggets (non-antibiotic, gluten free, organic..) and she proceded to say "I ate every single one." It was a sad moment, mingle was gone.

Then Michael, who has been flopping around his first two loose teeth (a development only about 10 days old) came flying into the kitchen bloody mouth and bloody hand--but smiling and screming "Yeah!!"---My first thought was brain damage-Maybe he fell so hard that he is confused--there was quite a bit of blood. Then I saw it---the black gap in his mouth. His tooth was in hand. I thought of the 50 or 60 pictures I must have of that tooth slowly emerging from his gum at 6 months old. Now, here it was in his hand ready for the tooth fairy. He called everyone in the family.

So the tooth fairy did visit last night and although Mom and dad had set the tooth to dollar rate at $2.00, he recieved $5.00--the tooth fairy didnt have any singles. She also brought an extra gift since it was the first tooth and such an occasion deserves a little something extra: a two pack of hard-to-find Disney cars to add to his massive obsession--I mean collection.

Last night though, they both cuddled with Mom and dad on the couch, cozy under blankets watching How Its Made and Wipeout--love watching these people fall into the mud. Four peas in a pod-despite the unauthorized growing.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Out of Gas

Meagan is much like the balloons that litter my floors today: deflated and out of gas. She has spent the past 24 hours on both a sugar and affection high with friends and family ready to give in to her every whim. After all, you only turn four once. I knew it was coming today-the meltdown. I was not prepared though for the sheer magnitude of it. After our guests left and the house was quite, no longer resembling a bed and breakfast, it happened. I tried accepting it, dealing with it, embracing it; until I finally just had to start ignoring it after about three hours of crying, sobbing, whinning, and demanding things. No sooner did I turn my ears and off she deflated. She is just another one of the other sticky spills I will need to clean up tonight.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Its Time for Change

Over the past few days I have noticed subtle but apparent signs that Fall--or really Winter, is looming just over the horizon. I see the bales of hay being placed on the pasture, the leaves in the trees are already taking on hues of firey red and orange, and the wind seems to be blowing somewhat more blustery out of the northeast. Wlamart has closed its bay doors where the carts are stored which have been open all sumer. I think the cold is near and while I look forward to crisp white snow covered landscapes, I will miss walking outside in shorts and a tee shirt.
The angle of the sun in the afternoon has changed drastically. It sets now behind the large trees in the backyard proving the sun has shifted and we begin to venture into autumn.

I think though that despite swimming and being able to run somewhat naked outdoors, the kids are ready for the change. They are so excited to begin apple picking this month as well as make homemade applesauce and cider. I look forward to making wax paper leaf prints and wearing sweatshirts. I will miss all the gardening I did this year but will have plenty of time to daydream about next years garden.

The sun has set, a full hour and a half earlier than it did two months ago. While I do love the nights were it is light out longer, I notice that the kids are in tune with the sun setting as they seem to begin to wind down from the day as it begins to set. By total darkness, both are asleep or teetering on the edge of sleep. Bedtime will only become easier over the next few months--an added treat this fall.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Rainy Days

This is one of my favorite kinds of days. It's the hard steady rain that never seems to let up a bit. Its the rain that comes down so hard that it wakes me from my sleep only to send me back into a deeper sleep. I slept near an open window last night to enjoy the full rainy effect and woke to being lightly misted with water through the window--ok, maybe that was a bit too much of the rain since it was 4:30 in the morning and I should be sleeping.

Regardless, the rain seems to have lulled the kids into a deeper sleep than usual and they joyfully slept until 8:30--giving me an entire blissful hour to enjoy warm coffee and reading my email without two people having a turf war on my lap.It's amazing how when you arent listening to yelling how soothing the quite hum of the computer can be against the backdrop of the rain.

The quiet ended as the kids woke up and seemed to have resurrected the same argument they were having last night with out missing a beat. To make the morning even more challenging, we lost power due to the rain (which at this point is growing less poetic). No sooner did we loose power and Michael suddenly had a renewed interest in eating his oatmeal which was now cold and needed to be reheated. Ah, modern technology--nothing in my house works without electricity. I contemplated heating the oatmeal over a Yankee Candle--apple pie flavor of course to match the oatmeal.

We managed to do our school work without the power, and even got to get in a reading of "Horrible Harry and the Ant Invasion". Michael enjoyed it and Meg could have cared less. I have given in to scribing for Michael during Math since he is so interested and advanced in that subject. I had to decide between forcing the handwriting and stopping the pace he was learning Math at, or scribe for him so we can keep the Math at his appropriate level. We will continue to work on the handwriting through his daily journal (which is comprised of daily half-finished sentences). He is completely frustrated by the fact that Meg can write better than he can. According to him, since she is about to turn four, she really shouldnt be able to do anything in the realm of his 5 year old world--let alone better than him.

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