I love cats and books. I always have. If I wasn't married with kids, I imagine I'd be an old spinster with oodles of cats and piles of books. I suppose I would work in a library. You can picture it right?
But since I have been blessed with an amazing husband and darling children, I spend hours every day reading to my kids. Funny thing, they love books too! We snuggle on the couch and read great books. I'm learning an awful lot about history and science. From time to time I get kicked in the head by my four year old son who doesn't exactly "sit" and listen. And I am reminded to laugh. When my voice gets tired I hand the book to my six year old daughter and she does the reading. We cuddle up, we learn, we laugh, we love. Life is good.
When I was about fourteen, I desperately wanted a cat. I had unsuccessfully asked my parents if I could have a cat. Then I figured it out, my house didn't feel like a home without a cat. And I said so, "Mom, a house really isn't a home without a cat." Who knew that simple heartfelt statement would work? It wasn't long before I got to bring Milo home. Milo, my friend with long, orange fur.
I've been thinking about this lately. When my kids go to bed, I snuggle up on the couch with more great books, a cup of tea, and my two black cats. I feel very much at home. But it isn't the cats, or the books, that make me feel at home. It is the love that fills our house. It is knowing that my husband is in the room with me, that my kids are tucked safely in their beds, and that we tucked them in with words of love.
As a teenager I felt like I was in a house that wasn't quite a home, not because the people weren't loving, but because my parents were often gone. It is easy to realize how much young kids need their parents to be home, how much they need their parents' time and attention. Little kids tell you, they make their needs known. No matter what they say, or don't say, I believe that bigger kids need their parents to be available just as much as the little ones do. As my little kids get bigger, I plan to still be here. I plan to keep on reading to them. Even if I drive them crazy and they wish I'd go away. I hope that my presence and love will continue to make our house a home. And if I'm mistaken on this point? Don't worry, we've got the cats.