My mother, who happens to be the ninth child in her family, is on a mission to buy our children a pet.
Years before I was born, my family had several dogs and a pony. But within five years of my arrival on the scene, we were completely pet-free. Not unlike my own children, when I was a child, I was often begging my mother for a dog or cat or pony or anything alive.
My mother would always tell me NO. Dogs and ponies were too much work and we didn't have the space and cats freaked her out. Quite frankly, the chances were better that my mother would sprout wings and fly than bring a pet in to our family. So I suppressed my longing until I was in my 20's at which point I quickly adopted two cats and two dogs.
(To this day, I'm still in want of a tiny equine.)
Fast forward 30 years, my mother has promised our children that she is going to buy them a pet for their birthday. Funny how that works. Mom would never buy her own child a pet, but she is incredibly excited to buy her grandchildren a pet? Surely this change of heart has nothing to do with the fact that it won't actually live with her. So in response to my mother's generosity, we told her that we'd love to come visit our new pet at HER HOUSE all the time.
Granted, Charlie and I have recently entertained rescuing a dog, but ... the memories of Monty and Molly are still so fresh in our mind and we're hesitant to bring an animal in to our family unless we are absolutely positively confident in our ability to give it the love and attention it deserves. Also? We're really not so keen on cleaning up after another being when the four beings under our care tend to make the largest disasters imaginable on a daily basis.
But the chances are, we will succumb. Because the children desperately want a pet and they're in cahoots with my mother who is very convincing and really wants to see her grandchildren enjoy her gifts, while she is able. Seeing as my roots are in Catholicism, the guilt? It is great.
In preparation for this pet that my mother is going to get for our children, she has been taking them to visit dog parks and the local animal shelter. To see the looks of excitement that dance about our children's faces ... you'd think that their beloved grandmother took them in to a room full of adorable squishy puppies and kittens and said, "TAKE YOUR PICK!"
Ultimately... it makes me genuinely happy to see that my wonderful mother brings our children as much joy as they bring to her. They have a grand relationship, indeed.