You know, when you have a special needs child you spend your life torn. Torn between anxiety and joy. Torn between fear and hope. Torn between wanting to wrap them in cotton wool and bubble wrap and protect them from the mean, ugly Universe and wanting to wrap the whole damn beautiful Universe up as a birthday present and hand it to them on a platter -pain, happiness, fear, hate, love, disappointment, exhilaration -all of it. To be honest, you are like that with any child but a feisty one seems to up the intensity exponentially.
And, so today, I am really torn. To be more precise, Goo and I are now torn. One of Feisty Pants' pets has died. He was a cat that we had found as a kitten under our back porch, starving and bedraggled, too neglected to run, too scared to come in. Goo coaxed him in. (The cat wouldn't come near me for weeks on account of my apparently being the Devil.) When we took him to the vet for shots and neutering, she told us that he had developmental disabilities due to his neglect. So I suppose his shortened life span (eight years) was nothing to sneeze at. Originally we were not going to keep him and looked to find him a good home, but Feisty Pants took a liking to him so he stayed put. And now Goo has no idea what to tell her. And he kind of doesn't want to tell her at all. (Hell, he didn't even want to tell Hippie Pants and she's almost a real live grown up.)
But this is where I differ. I want Feisty Pants to have the whole damn world. I want her to live and love and learn and share. But sometimes living is messy. And sometimes learning is hard. And sometimes sharing seems difficult. And sometimes loving means letting go or getting your feelings hurt. And sometimes your beloved cat who knew how to rub his head just right against your hand and help you pet him goes and betrays you by dying. And then I want to change my mind and wrap her up in cotton wool away from the Universe because maybe I am mean by expecting my children to ever face the world and we should all just give up and stay children in our blanket forts, coloring, for the rest of time.
Or maybe, the lesson pets teach us is that you never really know how long love -real, honest love for any fellow creature can last until they go away and you find you still love them and that is exquisitely beautiful in it's own way. That love is caring and learning to let what you love grow and learn to dance away from you. Maybe what is making me feel torn is knowing that I may need that lesson more than my feisty one.
For Casper, wherever you are dancing, right now...