One of my classmates recently pointed out that there is a difference between animal owners and animal lovers. I agreed with him immediately, but I really didn’t think much more about it until I was driving home from class. Stay with me here…
I mentioned that my youngest recently started preschool and I’m doing okay with it.
On the outside.
On the inside I’m struggling. I’ve come to the realization that the baby phase is officially over for our family. I‘ve known it was over for some time, but lately I’ve been hit with new realizations. I’ve never gone this long without being pregnant. My youngest is in school two days a week. And, there will never be another instance of that fresh, pink baby smell in this house.
It’s an overwhelming feeling. A sad feeling. Most people tell me I should be thrilled to have two morning a week to shop or get a pedicure and that I’ll end up loving the time to myself. While all that may be true it hurts to know that I’m done being the mom of babies. I’m the mom of kids.
And that’s different.
I was good at being a mom to little babies. Though my husband might argue I’d like to think I was good at being pregnant. It was so much of my world for so long. And, now it’s different.
So, when I arrived home the other night feeling quite sad about the end of my baby phase, one of our pets came to sit with me. Tux, the cat.
He curled up next to me and purred. I knew he could sense that I was struggling with things and his only solution was to just sit with me and purr.
And unbelievably helpful.
I realize the below the surface benefit that come from having the unconditional love of an animal because I’m more than just an animal owner.
I am an animal lover. I believe in their healing powers and I support their rights. I couldn’t sleep if they weren’t cuddled in the bed with me. I’d take in every homeless on of them if I wasn’t afraid my husband would divorce me. And, when I’m struggling to accept the passing of one precious phase of my life, there’s nothing more comforting than the soft purr of a creature that wants nothing more than to love me.
In the moment. And, forever.
This post was sponsored by the From Left to Write Book Club’s latest pick Cowboy and Wills, the story of a boy with autism and the power of one dog’s love. In full disclosure I received a complimentary copy of the book for participating.