love and clutter

September 21, 2009 at 12:08 am Leave a comment


We have a new dear one in the house.

I spent many months (maybe even a couple years), declaring our house too small for another pet, especially one with a cage that would share the minuscule amount of available shelf space. I turned down requests from the girls for a rat, a hamster, a baby mouse, a gerbil, even though I myself desperately ADORE animals, and even made a promise to myself when I was a young girl that when I had kids I would say yes to every animal they asked for. Yet I said NO.

I often feel overwhelmed with the objects in our lives. The random bits and pieces that clutter the kitchen table, the work desk, the girls’ floor, the car, sometimes cause great anxiety for me. I actually feel upset by it all, and I figured if I could prevent the clutter I could prevent having feelings I dislike. So I said NO.

And then…I had one of those days where I felt my life passing, another day going by in my children’s lives, and I wondered why I was choosing to honor the anxiety brought by objects instead of the love I knew was in store when a small furry ball entered our family? It just didn’t seem worth it.

So I conspired with Papa and while he was with the girls I snuck away to the mall! I brought the little girl hamster back home and hid her hamster house in the basement. When the girls woke up the next morning they found her happily established in the middle of our work table, in the middle of the living room. The hamster house has tubes that stretch and twist, a jutting wheel, and a towering crows nest. In other words it does not tuck neatly away, quite the opposite.

But it is so worth it. Not only for the girls. I tuck that little hamster into my pocket as often as I can, basically attachment parenting a hamster. And the girls are OVERFLOWING with love. They cuddle her, sing to her, hold her in a hamster sling and rock her to sleep, they analyze her food levels and her every move. I feel Xi gazing at my profile and when I turn to her her face is filled with the look of someone actually in love, and she bats her eyes and says so slowly “thanks for getting us a hamster. “.

The hamster’s name is Vanilla and she is a reminder to me to never postpone this kind of joy again. I will no longer trade love for emotional safety.


Entry filed under: parenting principles. Tags: , , , .

do over… no where to hide

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