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Everyone wants to make a difference in the lives of others-on whatever level is comfortable to them.  At least that’s my personal hope.  That said, I thought I’d talk about making a difference in the lives of my kids-those who walk on 2 feet and those who walk on 4.  Hopefully this doesn’t get to maudlin as I bring up why I decided to write about this subject.

Let me throw in the lives of my grand kids-for those who haven’t kept count, that would be 4.  3 boys and a girl.

In the lives of my kids, what I hope I’ve accomplished on some level is:

The importance of both standing up on your own two feet and knowing that sometimes you need to ask for help.  Know that if it’s possible, I’ll be there to cheer you on and do my best when you‘re losing balance and need someone to hang onto.  I can’t promise that I’ll be able to be everything you need/want-but I’ll do what I can, even if you don’t see it when it’s happening.

To the grand kids-my goal is to love you, help your parents when they want and/or need it and do what I can to see that you‘re lives have good health and as much happiness as I can contribute too.

Now that Steve and I are (theoretically) empty-nesters, we take our responsibility as pet parents as seriously as we do as being human parents, we didn’t give birth to you, but you‘re ours and we love you from the first day you entered our lives and we will NEVER do anything mean, unthinkable or hurtful to you.

There’s way too much of that being done lately to children of any kind.  I mention this because I’m active on Face Book and find way too many stories and links sending me to articles about children being mistreated and animals being dumped unceremoniously in high kill shelters as if they are simply not breathing and living beings.

Children and pets are not a right, they are a privilege and should be treated with nothing but love and dignity.  It’s okay to get mad at less than perfect behaviors, it’s more than okay to discipline and to what you need to do to correct those incidents, it’s okay to agree to disagree about choices made and how to handle to backlash.  We all make mistakes, we all have different ideas about what is “right” and “the best choices“-what we don’t have a right to do is be abusive and (since it’s the subject) literally throw out the baby with the bath water.

Our youth, our pets, they learn from how they are treated.  Yes, I’m a firm believer in self-determination and the strong arm of steering, but at some point, everyone has their own natures and desires and need to make their own choices as to what is the most important thing they need to do to be happy.

Making a difference simply means to be supportive in a positive way.  Do what you can, be there and realize that sometimes the decisions will be hard to swallow and yet, you can still get through the dark tunnel and find the light on the other side and keep being a family who loves each other.

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