Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My Cat

I lost a friend today. I had to put my cat that I've had for over 13 years to sleep tonight. And, I'm profoundly sad. She was diagnosed with cancer over a year ago, so I knew this day was coming. And during this process I've been somewhere in the middle of feeling like she was a family member, and she was just a cat. But I'm now realizing that although she became our family cat, she represented so much more to me. She was the last thing in my current life that connected me to my life before being a stay-at-home mom married with kids. She was my pet, my roommate, back before I was someone's wife or mom. When you think about it, its rare to have something actively reminding you of a time before all of this. She was the first thing I got for my first apartment after college and my first real responsibility. And she was the only one I could count on to greet me when I came home from work at all crazy hours.

My cat has since seen many moves and many changes in my life. She made room for my husband to move-in, and then tolerated the dog and the kids that followed. She wasn't always happy about these adjustments, but she was there, and she was a constant. Her scampering feet and her little chirps have always been my background noise, although I guess a lot more noise has been added to the mix. But despite the noises of my children running around the house and laughing, it seems a little too quiet tonight. So, I'm mourning the loss of my cat. I feel a little silly at how much grief I feel for a cat. And it seems odd that I feel alone when surrounded by a house full of my lively family. My family is sad too, but she really was my cat. She was a good companion and if I think back to "way back when", without her I would have been alone.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Halloween Comes Once a Year

'Tis the season; the Christmas season. Its December. Our Advent calendars are halfway done. Our letters to Santa have been mailed. Christmas music is playing everywhere and there is a wreath on every street corner. So why is my 3 year old still talking about Halloween?

Since November 1st, he has been planning his costume for next year. Each day it changes slightly and every few days he comes up with a whole new idea. With each new thought he comes running to me filled with excitement to tell me about his costume for next Halloween. Sometimes he seeks me out with his catalog in hand asking me if we can order the latest ensemble. I don't get it. Shouldn't he be excited for the prospect of new toys under the tree?

I entertained his fascination with Halloween for the first few weeks of November. But on the day after Thanksgiving when we were cutting down our Christmas tree and all he wanted to talk about was his Halloween costume for 2010, I couldn't take it anymore. I had to release a statement that I would not be accepting any questions or engaging in any conversations pertaining to Halloween until the summertime. There are at least 10 holidays that follow Halloween, including his birthday, that we will decorate for and celebrate; I think we can wait a few more months to start planning out the next Halloween costume. He was crushed. "But Mom" he whined, "I'm just so excited for Halloween".

Maybe its because he is young and he just doesn't really remember his first two years - maybe he doesn't even know how great Christmas can be. This year has been the first year where I feel like my 3 year old has been an active part of our family. But maybe its just that he's 3 and he still finds such simple joys in life. I'm not sure when you lose that, but as an adult it is pretty incredible to watch. Its been a few weeks since I stopped the Halloween discussion and he's moved on to practicing his Christmas carols for his school pageant. But the other night when I came into his room to tuck him in, he was lying in bed smiling and staring up at the ceiling. When I asked him what he was thinking about, he said "my costume for next year". Ah, the simple life.