But as our merry group of cousins worked and played, we were allowed to "work it out ourselves" because there was no sense in "arguing like cats and dogs". As an adult I realize something deeper than the simplicity of Gram not wanting to listen to her grandchildren fight...she was teaching us to patience, problem solving, and acceptance. Often, strife and conflict are because we don't agree or see the perspective of the other side. I'm thankful for the generations before me that modeled and encouraged independence, problem solving, and peace.
Another value I appreciate and strive for, is to "be there" for my family and friends. First and foremost, to be the best mother to my daughter I can. I'm thankful for generations of Godly and dedicated women who modeled how to be wonderful Mom's, sisters, aunts, cousins, and women. An aspect of of this, is how they pulled together to care for each other, and each other's children. Ever since Mary was little, she was blessed with the opportunity to be cared for by her grandparents, her great-aunts, and friends when I was at work. This is a blessing I count daily.
When our daughter was very sick, my parents were able to care for her so my husband, Ed, and I could continue to work the majority of the time. We thanked them daily and each time they said, "It's our pleasure and glad we can do it." Neither Ed or I have a surplus of sick time yet we have enough. We've taken sick days and days without pay in order to get our daughter to necessary doctor's appointments to determine what was causing her pain and sickness but the majority of her time, was spent with my parents.
Some days I went to school with the weight of mother's guilt weighing me down, shedding tears as I drove to work and putting on my happy face on before walking in because the kiddos deserve the best we can give them. My prayer often was for my daughter's teachers, to be as understanding and dedicated to her as I was to my students. I'm thankful this prayer was answered with a yes. The reality is that thanks to my parent's generosity and love for their granddaughter, I learned to focus on the positive and be thankful...thankful I didn't have to quite my job or entrust our girl to a stranger.
This year, our daughter has been much healthier thanks to God answering prayer, the many doctors He placed into our lives, and our daughter's determination. While her energy hasn't always been 110%, it's so much better and she's been able to attend school, work part time, and make memories with friends. These are exciting things. The day I wrote this blog, our daughter had to stay home sick, only the second time this school year (Yippee!). My parents weren't available so I had to take the day off. I'm so glad my friend encouraged me to be a "Mom first", because it was a special day.
While cats and dogs don't usually get along, they can learn to. It requires time, modeling, correction, and dedication. Doesn't this remind you of how the women I told you about earlier? Don't you think the picture of our two dogs and kitten chilling on the couch illustrate this point? I do. Now look at the second photo, the same as the first but with labels. Notice where our precious pets are positioned? They are surrounding their owner, our daughter, because she isn't feeling well. Another attribute dogs and cats have in common, similar to us - when we are sick or in need, they rally around us to help us feel better and keep us safe...just like family.
I hope today's blog doesn't leave you shaking your head too much but instead, I hope you choose to celebrate your family and health. I hope you take advantage of those times when you can just be "Mom" or "Dad" in the midst of life. We are always parents, forever, but sometimes, it is okay to call in and care for our kiddos. I wouldn't trade being Mom today for anything.
When you or your kids are home sick,
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323