Not Kids And Pets!
Yes, definitely kids and pets! Where would we be without them? To all those who abhor the site of them, you are missing the best bits.
Okay, I admit that isn’t hard to do. Kids can easily drive you crazy. Like the bumper sticker that says, “Insanity is hereditary. You get it from your kids” they can certainly test your limits. Singlehandedly, kids can keep you broke, steal your treats, wear out your refrigerator door, and transform even the most quiet, ordered life into a noisy, dishevelled mess. And we haven’t even mentioned all the emotional twists and turmoil that goes with raising kids that’s a subject on its own).
What about pets? Well the hairy kind shed enough fur to make a cupboard of jumpers… annually. Without trying, pets make a downright mess wherever they eat. They dominate your attention, scratch, mark, and spread infections (though kids can these too).
Enough with the positives what are the downsides? No, only kidding! To see nothing but the difficulties of having kids and pets is equivalent to looking at life with a jaundiced eye that misses out on the happiness of living.
Kids teach you that there’s a lot more to life than just us, and our interests. Confronted by their needs and desires, we are repeatedly forced to stumble, bleary-eyed and weary, out of our much loved comfort zone to do what must be done. In doing so, we develop a new ability: how to love beyond our limits.
As for pets? Well, they trade on their adorable ways to wheedle themselves into your affections. Like kids, when you love caring for pets, it’s hard to be cross with them long. That’s because, at a deep emotional level, it feels like pets get you. That’s why they earn such a privileged place in people’s lives and why, outwardly, pet-owner relationships seem somewhat excessive.
Kids and pets connect with us at levels few people ever do. Young kids and treasured pets have that extraordinary capacity to move and delight you with innocence and curiosity. Their natural cuteness melts hard shells to juxtapose life’s seriousness and difficulty with simple warmth and genuine affection.
People who detest pets and can’t stand kids clearly have the wrong end of the stick. Life offers its best to every one of us through the opportunities of relationship, appreciation, and nurture. Through these things life feels richer and brings more joy than all the possessions we could ever imagine buying.
Why? Because the pleasure of things is a one-way street. You enjoy them but they can’t appreciate you. But kids can and pets can. The more you give of yourself to them, the more satisfaction you can get in the giving. That’s of course true for all relationships. Yet the message of kids and pets is particular, irreplaceable, and unique.
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