Lessons from kids and cats

Thank you all for your love, support and kind words about our sweet Smokey. We are all doing okay, but I am sort of hazing through today. Hmmm…I may have just made up a new use for the word “hazing.” You know how you are kind of going through the motions, but feeling a lot like you are in a haze? That is me today – hazing through.

I wish I could channel the amazing resiliency, innocence and naivety of my kids. Last week Addie’s teacher’s mom passed away. We (the parents) were organizing a gift for Miss C., but I hadn’t said anything to Addie, I just wasn’t sure if they were going to say something to the kids in the class or not, so I kind of (mercifully) avoided the subject. But Addie came home from school and just sort of matter-of-factly blurted out -

A: Miss C’s mommy died.
M: Uh…um. I heard that. Yes. Did Miss M. tell you that in school today?
A: Yep. Miss C. is probably going to be a little sad for awhiles, but that’s okay – her mommy is in heaven.

And she just walked away and continued on with her play.

Now, I know that she just doesn’t understand the permanence of someone passing, the not being able to ever see or talk to them again. But to just be so certain, and have that faith that yes it happened, it happened for a reason, and that the person is someplace better. I wish that I could have that.

We have spent a lot of time the past two days talking about all the funny stuff we remember about Smokey. The girls like talking about the other animals that we think are up in animal heaven with Smokey; their fish, Tuck – Em’s turtle, Nana & Papa’s puppy.  I told them of my cat and dog I had when I was growing up. We had a big old tomcat who was all white and named Casper (after the friendly ghost, naturally!). I think he had many more than nine lives, and used every last one of them up.

After, when I thought we were on a completely different subject, Addie just piped up with “Mama? Do you think Smokey is playing with your ghost cat in heaven?” After we laughed, we all agreed that Smokey and Casper probably were having quite a frolicking time up in a big meadow filled with all-you-can-eat tuna and whipped cream. But Tuck and the various fish probably have their own safe pond to swim around in.

The talking about it all seems to be what the girls need right now. Several times today Addie would just sigh and say “I miss Smokey.” But no tears, again just sending a little offering up. And Emma was determined to “share” Smokey with her class for share day today. So I found a bunch of photos and she went in and talked about what had happened. That, too! I can barely write about it, let alone get up in front of a bunch of my friends and talk about it. Kids are just amazing creatures and I think I have gained much more strength from them, than I have offered to them.

As for me, I just feel sad. And I keep telling myself that she was just a cat, but I know she wasn’t just a cat. She really was a part of our life. And of course, that leads to a panic with the thought of losing someone really close to me. I’ve lost older aunts and uncles and grandparents, of course. But they all seemed a little bit “circle of life-ish.” I grieved, but was able to get through it and now just remember them fondly. But…ugh, I can’t even type it. You all know those fears, and it is just too dangerous to even say aloud.

And besides the sadness, I have been feeling so very guilty. How many times did I say to J. – “Smokey is just so skinny.” Why didn’t I take her in sooner than her yearly checkup? Would it have mattered? And how many times did I curse the cats while I was cleaning up one of their “misses” near the litterbox? Or push her away as she is lying on my arm as I’m trying to work?

Another life lesson learned. Well, I guess it wasn’t really learned – I certainly know that life is not certain, and you can’t take anything or anyone for granted. We just don’t know how much time we have here. We need to make every moment count, because I want to make sure when I am looking back and remembering – I am looking back and remembering way more good stuff than bad. No regrets or “what ifs.”

It is sad that it took this to remind me and make me truly start living like I know it.

Smokey’s spot.

Smokey’s favorite spot on “her” chair.


She was our first “baby.” I can still remember picking her out of the bunch in that old barn almost fourteen years ago. And attempting to give her a bath (or five) to get rid of her fleas. And then her attempt to singe all of the whiskers off of her face when she got too close to a candle. And the many cross-continental flights she took with us on our moves. And introducing her to her the much detested Tiger cat (although I think they grew to secretly love each other!). And the way she would run from the furthest corner of the house with a chorus of “meows” when she would hear the whip cream can get uncapped.

She was such a good kitty and we are just trying to remember all of those good things today. But I have a very heavy heart when I look at her empty spot. She will be so very missed.

Crafty Tuesday

Yeah…so…about last week. I kinda forgot to post anything, and honestly didn’t really have anything to post anyhow.

And this week? I don’t have anything to post anyhow.

I do have some stuff in the works (Aunt Laura and Carey your bags are coming!) but since I didn’t get them out in the mail, I don’t want to spoil the surprise by posting them today.

I am finally getting through all of the feeds in my reader from last week and getting caught back up, so I am anxious to see if you all have some goodies for me to check out this week.

Now, on to some other business…

A certain little someone in our house is turning six in a month. My God, did you hear me? Six! SIX!

What are we going to get her for her birthday?

Almost six?!

Besides new jeans (because she has grown like three inches in the past month) or a brick (for her head to make her STOP growing) – what is something fun that six-year olds like these days? Any ideas?

Recharge ~ Best Shot Monday

We said goodbye to our visitors and basically spent the rest of the weekend just recharging and gearing up for the week. And the weather was so very cooperative. It was mid-80s, sunny, just perfect.

So while we were very productive and got all the little stuff done like laundry, picking up dry cleaning, grocery shopping, and returning library books; we also got a lot of time to do stuff like hangin’ in the hammock…

Hammock hangin'

And hunting for our friendly avocado tree dweller…

Squirrel hunting

Ah! I think J. and Em found him…

Did you see those squirrels?

He provided us with about 30 minutes of entertainment…

Nutty buddy

It was such a lovely day.

Lazy Saturdays

Stop by Tracey’s for more BSMs today.

Share Day

Share day

Em got to bring Lauren to school today for her Share Day. It was so very cute. She was so excited to share her best friend with all of her classmates. But I think she got a little nervous because Mommy was watching from the back of the room, too.

E: “Hi, Boys and Girls” (YES! She really did say that!)
“Hiiii, Emma!”
“My share today is my friend. She is from Chicago. Hmmm…her favorite color is pink. And I like her because she has been my friend for a long time.
( little pause )
I can take questions now.”
Classmate: “Um…What is her name?
“Oh, Lauren!”
“How old is she?”
E: “5 and a half!”

And…that was it! It was great. Em gave Lauren a hug and we were on our way. So funny.

Summertime? ~ Theme Thursday

Stacy asked for some summer reminders today.

This isn’t completely “summer-y,” since when we visited the beach yesterday it was only low 60s, and the water was frigid! (Yeah, Addie found out first hand, as she fell headfirst into a wave!) – But it is sunny, there are blue skies, and proof that summer is a-comin’!


A Girl-y Kind of Day

For Christmas, J. had given Em tickets to see the Junie B. Jones show.

And since Kim and Lauren were going to be here, they got to come to the show, as well. The show was really cute, perfectly timed for little Junie B.’s like ours…

2 little Junie B.s

So we made it a special day for the girls and took them to lunch…

Lunch with friends

And then we all got a little pampering…

All the girls

Getting pampered

And some pretty toes out of the deal…

Pretty toes

A pretty good deal, and a very fun afternoon.

Happy Birthday To You…

Better late than never.  And since she is on the West coast here with us this week…it is STILL Kim’s birthday -  for two more hours!

Happy Birthday Kim! May you have beachy, carrot-cake filled dreams!

Happy Birthday to Kim!

(And yeah, Will blew out Kim’s candles for her. And no, she is not 22, but I only had 2 measly candles in the cupboard! She is 29 again…)

Love you, my friend!