…it’s not always pretty, but it is quite a ride and rewards come when you least expect them.
I was a young bride so growing up for me was fast – I met my husband at 16, started dating him at 17, married him at 18 and had my first baby at 19 (my second at 25)! Raising my children, or just going through life in general, has definitely been an education for me. From my youngest, I’ve learned not to let things bother you! He is a duck, things just roll off his back! From my oldest, I’ve learned not to judge a book by it’s cover! He has a gruff exterior with a huge heart!
I don’t remember thinking too much about what my children were going to be when they grew up, or myself for that matter! I guess we really did it together! I just lived my life, day by day, tried to do the best I could with what I had and wanted my kids to be happy in their decisions, no matter how much money they made. I know the mistakes I’ve made (some of which have bit me in the butt) and the moments that I deserved a pat on the back! For my youngest, his decisions changed often. For my oldest, he was what he is today at a young age! I now realize maturity hadn’t even kicked in yet for me to even think about what I wanted to be when I grew up! It just happened that way – I was a Mom!
It was a bit the same way when it came to fostering puppies. I had met a sweet lady through work who was a big animal/shelter/rescue advocate. Somehow our conversations went from business to dogs. The rest, as they say, is history! We clicked! She became a wonderful friend (along with another girl from New Jersey) and opened my eyes to the animal lover that I didn’t realize that I was! We even vacationed together (which reminds me, its time to take that trip again!)
One day, Sarah sends me this email about 5 puppies at PAWS that need a foster home! “Oh my, they sure are cute!” Their names were Ham, Lamb, Beef, Liver & Fish – what adorable names! “Sure Charmain, go ahead, fill out the application! No better way to find out if you want a 2nd dog – fostering puppies!” In the same moment that I click send, I’m excited, scared and wondering what in the world I just did, offering to take 5 puppies without so much as even talking to my husband! Can I even handle 5 puppies! 5 PUPPIES!!!!????? Within half an hour, I had a phone interview with PAWS and 2 puppies (thank goodness I didn’t have to take all 5) to be picked up the following day! I was again, A MOM!
If you have children (or husbands), I’m sure you have said, at least once in your life, “it’s like talking to a brick wall!” You never really know if your children are paying attention as you are raising them! I have, on many occasions, heard things my children have said or saw things they have done that tells me they heard it all, the good and the bad! At some point, they start making decisions on their own and you see the seeds you’ve planted grow! My oldest has had some eye opening moments over the last few years! He learned that companies aren’t always loyal to employees, no matter how much money you make them; that the loss of an animal can break your heart as badly as your closest human friend and the sad truth about how shelter dogs are euthanized ‘in bulk’! He has also learned that there are thousands of dogs in shelters and the best way to see if you want a 2nd dog is to foster! YES, my oldest son has fostered his first puppy!
Ok, so maybe he has ulterior motives and already knows he wants a 2nd dog but it doesn’t take away from the warmth I feel in my heart knowing that that came from a seed I planted. For those mistakes I made that bit me in the butt, they are all erased by the care and concern I see in my son when it comes to animals, dogs and pitbulls!
Thank God for my children (,husband) and growing up….
P.S. I guess it would be no surprise to any of you if I told you that my son is a horrible foster father! He is beyond a failure! Unofficially, meet my new granddog! Looks like Brandon is keeping the puppy!