another trip to the emergency room for #thiskid. in case you’re counting, this is trip number three. this time for a big gash on his chin from a big jump off the diving board (when daddy wasn’t quite ready!) #toddlerlife #brave #minitraceur

day 92: watching #thiskid develop his own climbing #strategy is completely #mindblowing. not only is he improving his strength, but he attempts each climb on a piece of equipment with a slight variation of his grips, foot placement and approach. #100daysofhappiness #hesanatural #climber #parkour #minitraceur #barefooted #barefootedforlife

tapping in.

this afternoon i had an appointment with a pet psychic (animal communicator, i believe is the preferred terminology), regarding little simon.

our tiniest family member, weighing in at around 4 lbs when soaking wet, is probably almost 15 years old and seems to be suffering dementia, blindness, arthritis and who-knows-what else. we restrict his access to our bedroom, which we keep lined with pee pads. yes, all of it. it’s expensive, an eco-disaster and is nearly impossible to keep up with, but it is the most efficient solution we’ve found, to date. if we allow him out of the room he often gets lost/confused and sometimes falls down the stairs, which feels unconscionable to me, if i can’t watch over him effectively. so, in our room he stays.

i’ve been guilt-ridden about his lifestyle for the past several months and finally got up the courage, with assurance from chad, to contact a pet psychic to learn more about his wishes for his remaining days.

so, i reached out to my animal-wise friends on the facebook and asked for recommendations. i ultimately chose rachael at beyond barking, in seattle. i prepaid for our session via paypal and then we scheduled a convenient time for our phone conversation.

in preparation, i was asked to email photos of simon and specific questions i wanted to have answered. i also sent a photo of my beloved trudie, who “ran away” a year ago, with hopes of learning her whereabouts and any other details she may discover.

sure enough, rachael called promptly at 1:00pm and suggested i grab a pen and paper to take notes. she suspected there would be a few details i would be surprised to learn and that i would benefit from having the notes to look back on in the days to come.

my first set of questions for simon were health related: was he in fact going blind, suffering dementia, etc.? sure enough, he confirmed it all, adding that he is often very cold due to an onset of poor circulation. (note to self: turn off the ceiling fan and close the ac vent in the bedroom during the day.) he claims that on a scale from 1-10, his vision is about a 3-1/2.

secondly, i asked what it would take to encourage him to participate more often with our family, to which he responded that he truly didn’t want to. he feels happy and content to be safely protected from our chaos up in the bedroom. he reminded me that he is “a very old man” and that he just wants to stay as comfortable and quiet as possible. he appreciates my offer, but respectfully declines.

he also wanted me to understand that he no longer wants me to hold him, and that when i pet him, to please move slowly and calmly toward him and to use very delicate strokes — in fact, using only one finger, not my whole hand anymore. the stress of fast, unexpected movement is very challenging for him. this made me cry, but i could totally understand now why he has struggled to get out of my arms when i’ve tried to hold him, lately.

i asked if he still knew who i was and he said, yes, but that it takes a lot longer for him to identify me with all of his combined ailments. this also made me cry, but with relief. he assured me that he felt heart-connected to me when i slowed down and came into *his* space at *his* pace and those were the times he looked forward to most, anymore. (note to self: slow down and connect. every. single. day.)

i wanted him to know how much i love him and that he will always be my first “baby boy” and he said that he really knew that and has never doubted my love for him. again, more tears from me. the guilt i have carried since adopting willie and the arrival of giacomo has been immense. he asked that i please release every bit of it and believe that he is indeed happy and feels as much love and admiration for me as he ever has. yes, sobbing now….

releasing this guilt is going to be a process. the gift of forgiveness from him is absolutely priceless.

i asked what i could do or offer to make him happy and he suggested additional doggie beds. for those of you who know simon, you’ll agree — my tiny man LOVES a soft doggie bed! i laughed. (note to self: buy more doggie beds!) he asked that i please not rearrange any furniture and allow him this time and space in what can only be translated as “hospice care.” he understands the peace and beauty of being able to leave this world gently, in his sleep and he intends to make his departure in that way when he is completely ready.

what a beautiful, sweet soul this old man has become… and to think what a total PISTOL he used to be!

next, the conversation switched to trudie.

my first question was whether she was alive or dead — and sure enough, SHE IS ALIVE! (i *knew* it! i just *knew* it!)

the story, as she tells it, is that she saw an opportunity to run out the front door and she took it. the fact that she “ran away” was a total mistake.

she was so caught up in following her bliss (chasing butterflies, hunting mice, running freely in the breeze) that when the rain and sleet started to fall she realized - she was completely lost! by her account, she believes she is many miles away from our home.

the miserable weather allowed her to be baited by a kind, caring, cat-loving couple, who gladly took her in and added her to their tribe of three other cats. THREE OTHER CATS! what a riot! according to true, she is well-loved and very happy living an indoor life with her new family.

i asked rachael to ket her know that if she *ever* wanted to come home, that she would always be welcome, and that i loved her and missed her very much. trudie appreciated my offer, but recognizes that it would be nearly impossible for her to ever return, as she is kept safely indoors and she has no idea at all where we live anymore. she wanted me to know that she is very happy and that i should not feel badly for having lost her. of course, more tears, but honestly mostly of joy for her freedom and happiness.

i have spent the rest of the afternoon absorbing all of this experience and my heart just feels so full. i wanted to be sure to document all of this while it was still fresh and relevant.

it was, absolutely the most heart-warming way i have ever spent $45 in my life.

what a bizarre and fabulous world we live in. xo

day 91: we had every intention of going camping today. we bought a (GIGANTIC) tent and all the fixin’s that we could possibly need, and then some more. it seems the weather is simply not on our side (there is literally a flash flood warning in effect). no need to make ourselves miserable. we’ll just try this again another day. meanwhile, what to do? we checked out the #discoverysciencecenter this morning! #thiskid had a blast! #100daysofhappiness #shoesrequired #madscienceskills

imaginary play.

day 90: #thiskid rode the #train all by himself today — i was beaming with #mamapride! (note: he was scolded as he was getting out of his car by the conductor and reminded that it is very important to remain seated throughout the ride. i was thrilled he didn’t take the opportunity to jump off and run away!) #100daysofhappiness #success #miracle #easytolove #difficulttodiscipline #minitraceur #toddlerlife #milestone #nashvillezoo @nashvillezoo

#thiskid is fascinated by her. he watches every move she makes. he practiced crossing his legs like her for three minutes before he felt like they looked like hers (they don’t. she has legs for miles and she’s only five years old!). he lets her play with him like a giant babydoll. he’s learning imaginary play with her (she served him “ice cream” in an empty play doh cup, full of sand from his sandbox and he went along with it — he would NEVER do that with me!). think #thesetwo will be dear #friends for a long, long time. or until she gets bored. #ry #toddlerlife #popsicles

day 89: we had the whole beautiful place to ourselves #100daysofhappiness #thiskid #toddlerlife #wildandfree #wildandfreechildren #percypriestlake

#lakelife #thiskid #skippinstones #adventure #barefooted #barefootedforlife (at Radnor Lake Natural Area and Wildlife Refuge)

day 88: #thiskid found some beautiful #treasures on our #adventure this afternoon. we also saw a mama & baby deer and left them some apple slices to enjoy. #100daysofhappiness #fairtrade #wildandfree #wildandfreechildren #barefooted #barefootedforlife (at Radnor Lake Natural Area and Wildlife Refuge)

we saw some deer on our walk this afternoon. giacomo left them some apple slices to enjoy. such a sweetheart!

i walked outside to see #thesetwo sweatin’ it out - totally committed to their popsicles. #summer2014

day 87: exploring the stream after a hike in the woods #100daysofhappiness #wildandfree #wildandfreechildren #toddlerlife (at Edwin Warner Park)