20 November 2009

Izzy's Thanksgiving letter

Dear Mom & Dad,

Doe, Willa, Kyna, Fallon, and I thought it would be totally awesome to write you a letter to let you know the things we are thankful for.  Kyna and Fallon were totally clueless about this whole Thanksgiving thing, but after Willa, Doe, and I explained all the great food mom makes and that we get to share some of it, they got on board with it real fast!  Man, they say these dogs are smart, but when you have to explain about mom's cooking this HUGE meal and letting us have some of it, it makes me think they're really not so smart.  I guess maybe it's because they've never been with a family that let them come inside and be a part of the family.  And Kyna's so skinny, I guess she never got enough food to begin with, much less yummy people food like turkey and gravy and whipped cream! 

So, anyway, we all came up with some things we're all thankful for.  Some of the things Kyna and Fallon came up with seemed pretty lame to us cats.  Then again when Doe, Willa, and I were talking about some of the things we were thankful for, the dogs just rolled their eyes.  Whatevah!

Anyway, here's our list of what we're thankful for.

  • All of us are thankful we're not in a cold, dark, lonely cage or out on the street anymore.
  • We all are so happy to have plenty of good food to eat – especially the food that comes off those flat round things you use.
  • All of us think it's brilliant that we can sleep wherever we want (I can't tell you all the places 'cause you might not be happy.)
  •  We all really like all our toys (I really like the ping pong balls, especially at 2:00 in the morning.  They sound so awesome on the tile when it's really quiet in the house.)
  • We're all very glad we don't have to clean out our cat box or pick up the yard (well, Kyna said if you'd take the gate down into the laundry room, she'd help with the cat box, but I told her you all think that's gross.  She rolled her eyes at me.)
  • Kyna and Fallon get really happy when they get to play in the snow (this is one of those things that makes me think the dogs really aren't that smart.  Who'd want to roll around in cold, wet snow when you could be snuggled up on a blankie in front of a warm fire?!  Dogs are so clueless.)
  • We're all thankful nobody yells at us when we pull the curtains down.  (Fallon said she only does it when she's trying to lounge in front of the sliding door and it's not *her* fault the curtains are too long.  Willa says she only does it when I'm chasing her so it's not *her* fault, but I don't think it's *my* fault either because if Willa didn't run and hide in the curtains we wouldn't get tangled in them.)
  • We're thankful we have a really cool doctor and his helpers that seem to really like us  (Doe even admitted that he doesn't mind staying with them as much as he used to when you go out of town because everyone there gives him lots of attention and makes a fuss over him.  He's not as cranky as he likes people to think he is.  Kyna and Fallon think it's funny you sneak treats out of the bin and let them eat them when the doctor goes out of the room.)
  • Kyna said she's thankful you are so patient with her and understand that she's just a puppy still and that you don't get too upset when she doesn't do what you tell her to do (and she's glad you're teaching her how to play.  I guess living in a shelter all her life she never learned, and that's just sad.)
  • Doe's thankful for cat nip and his pink poodle and his Bo-Bo, and he's glad mom will get down on her hands and knees and get his toys out from under the bed for him.
  • We kitties are thankful for the window ledges we get to hang out on when the windows are open on warm sunny days (we'd be more thankful if the dogs wouldn't come up behind us and stick their cold wet noses on our butts!  Doe's lucky he has his own suite and doesn't have to share with Kyna and Fallon!)
  • We're all thankful when our Heather comes home for a visit and gives us lots of attention and love (we sure miss her now that she got all grown up and went to that away school.)
  • I'm thankful the dogs like kitties and that they let me play with their tails.  They're a lot more fun than a feather duster!
  • Kyna's thankful for Fallon's ears.  She says they're fun to chew on.
  • Fallon says she's thankful she was born so patient because if she wasn't Kyna would get her butt kicked because Kyna's always chewing on her ears
  • Willa said she's thankful she was born so patient because if she wasn't I would get my butt kicked for trying to steal her food everyday.  And she told me I had to write that down or she'd kick my butt.
  • I'm thankful I'm fatter than Willa cause if she tried to kick my butt, I'd just sit on her.
Finally we're all thankful for all the rescue groups, humane societies, shelters, and volunteers who take care of animals like us before we get to go home with people like you.  Without them we'd still be out there starving or being abused or neglected and then we wouldn't have *any* thing to be thankful for.

Izzy, Willa, Doe, Kyna, and Fallon

16 November 2009

on becoming an adult, hopefully.

As most of you know, my daughter graduated from high school this past May.  In August she headed off to college, and after a couple of bumpy weeks she found her groove.  I knew she would.  She's smart and sensible, and while it's scary being away from home, on your own – for the first time – it does get easier.  In fact, most folks learn to enjoy the autonomy and freedom of being away from home.

Some not so much.  The world is too big and too scary.

Sadly, while my daughter has started to progress and grow, some of those close to her have not.  It's sad actually to see the demise of what used to be very close friendships.  But honestly, I'm not surprised.  It's hard for high school friendships to survive when the people involved go in such divergent directions.

It's even harder when one of the friends does not appear to grow or mature, but in fact shows signs of regression.  Add to that comments such as, "people who go to college are wasting their time," and it makes me think that perhaps someone is feeling a bit insecure and left behind.

My daughter is hurt, and even a bit angry that she is being mocked and being treated as if this is somehow all her fault.  As her mother, it hurts me too, but this is something that she is handling quite well on her own.  After trying to communicate and being bombarded with nasty responses, she's decided what the best way to deal with the angry and mean messages is.  She's ignoring them.  Sometimes you just have to let it go. 

My daughter may be young, but she learned at an early age that there are some people you just shouldn't argue with.  Some of these people see themselves as they want to be seen, not as those around them see them. 

And maybe that's not such a bad thing.  Eventually, some (but not all) of these young adults learn the hard way that the friendships they broke in the name of "being more mature and adult" and "leaving high school drama" behind them was due to their own immaturity and their own desire to continue with the high school drama.  It's scary growing up, so it's easier not to.

Over the course of the past few months, my daughter's friend has severed many friendships.  My daughter's friend has said many times that she's left the high school drama behind her and is a mature adult.  Many times.  Many, many times.  To the point where one begins to suspect maybe the only person she's trying to convince is herself.

I actually experienced the same exact situation when I went off to college.

One of my best friends and I went away to college together.  A couple of weeks into classes she became so homesick and overwhelmed with the work load and with having to do things for herself that she quit.  She moved back home, but I stayed.

On going home to visit, it became obvious to me that she was still stuck in high school.  Her treatment of me was confusing.  She was angry and belligerent and petty.  Frankly, it was very hurtful.  What had I done?

Then it dawned on me.  I had grown.  I was moving on.

She was "stuck" in the same podunk town, in a dead end job, and didn't see any way out.  After many attempts at rebuilding the friendship and failing, I realized that our friendship was irrevocably damaged.  The problem was my friend would see me and how I had made new and different friends and I was doing new and exciting things and learning new and different things, and it just reinforced her perception that she was a failure.  Until she figured out the problem was within herself, there was nothing I could do.

I had reached the point where I didn't want to do anything more for our friendship.  I was tired of trying to make our friendship work.  I was tired of being made to feel as if the whole breakdown of our friendship was my fault because I chose to stay in college.

I've heard of her now and again, and she seems to have turned out OK.  Perhaps she was just someone that was content to stay in our hometown and raise her family.  And there's nothing wrong with that.

But I wanted more.  I wanted to see the world.  Go places and do things.  And I did.

And my daughter will too.