Friday, May 28, 2010

Kids and Kittens

My husband sent me this beautiful poem he came across a blog he reads regularly and I have to share because it is so easy to forget how quickly children grow up when we're busy with school and sports and work and just trying to keep ahead of the chores. Thank goodness I don't have to raise my child over again ... I can try to do it right ... now.

If I Had My Child To Raise Over Again
by Diana Loomans

If I had my child to raise over again,
I’d do less correcting, and more connecting.
I’d take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.
I would care to know less and know to care more.
I’d take more hikes and fly more kites.
I’d stop playing serious, and seriously play.
I’d run through more fields and gaze at more stars.
I’d do more hugging, and less tugging.
I would be firm less often, and affirm much more.
I’d build self-esteem first, and the house later.
I’d teach less about the love of power, and more about the power of love.
My daughter has been talking about getting kittens and another puppy for a long time now, but the plan is taking shape in her head. Every day when we walk to and from school (with our two-year-old dog who is still very puppyish) she imagines how she will train the kittens to be on a leash, how they'll cuddle up with her, how they'll snuggle in with the dog.
When I asked if two cats and a dog aren't enough, she said, "They are cats, not kittens."
Right. They are 17 and 12 years old. Ancient. Practically fossils. My kids haven't grown up with kittens, but cats, even though they're naughty and entertaining and sweet and loving cats.
My daughter cleaned out the cat-boxes today. Of course, I'm very partial to cats ... and the thought of kittens makes my heart beat just a wee bit faster. I get totally wrapped up in her imagination. She's got a good plan. For Christmas! But after camping also sounds good, right?!!


Mary Witzl said...

I like that poem.

I'm still dizzy at what you wrote there about your daughter cleaning out the cat boxes. We got our girls to do this on a regular basis only fairly recently, and from the way they approached it, they might as well have been dealing with plutonium; you're WAY ahead of us!

We started out with a cat, but when we moved here, ended up with a kitten. My daughter has quickly learned just how much more work kittens are and she keeps wishing the kitten would hurry up and be a cat (which she now almost is). I know your daughter will love having a kitten, but I fear she'll have to find out about cats and leashes the hard way.

MollyMom103 said...

I love that pic of your beautiful daughter and the cats. It's magical.

Vijaya said...

Mary: Plutonium?! Tee-hee. My son is like that. Loves the cats, not the mess.

Oh, my daughter wants to go beyond the leash -- she'd like to train the dog to carry the kittens in pouches! If it happens, I'm having my camera ready.

Molly: a little girl, a good book, a couple of cuddly cats are all you need for a little magic.

Marcia said...

That's a cool poem, and the sentiments are so important to pay attention to. Though I made my share of mistakes, I'm so grateful I was surrounded by moms who put their children first, so that I was really encouraged to do the same in an age when some women did not. It's the biggest blessing of life to have no regrets on the child-raising front. Nothing can match it.

Suma Subramaniam said...

Thanks for the post Vijaya. I liked the poem. It reminds us to live :-)

Your daughter is so adorable. Keep me posted when she succeeds in walking the cats:-)

Vijaya said...

Marcia, I need a reminder every now and then to keep my priorities right and poems like these help so much. You did it right not to have regrets ...

I used to work in a nursing home and I never, ever met anybody who wished they'd worked more or harder, but all the regrets I heard were about family relationships, particularly regarding children.

Suma, my daughter is persistent to a fault and she just might succeed walking the kittens :) I'll keep you posted.

Evelyn said...

I'm rather late to this post, but I just had to say how much I like the poem and how precious the photo of your lovely daughter is!

Vijaya said...

Thank you, Ev. The kids are growing up tooooo fast.