Our cat Gogo is well known as a troublemaking, food stealing, mischievous character. He is ever present in our house. Where we go, he goes. His involvement in our day starts at the crack of dawn until he safely puts us to bed having supervised our every move.
We have all learned to carefully guard our food, vitamins and drinks from Gogo. Occasionally one of us has a careless moment and Gogo takes full advantage of it. True story, one time Gogo stole food right out of the mouth of one of my friends who thought it would be funny to taunt him. He showed her his back end as he ran off with her chicken plucked straight from her open mouth.
Gogo is like having an undisciplined dog with all the maneuverability of a cat. Now that you know the back story, let me tell you what recently transpired in our house. The girls and I were having home-made pizza the other day. We sliced it into four pieces and sat down with a piece each. Mistakenly, we left the extra piece on the kitchen counter. Gogo immediately seized the opportunity and was making his way towards the abandoned food. I saw a blur of orange leaping towards the pizza and stopped him just before he could reach his prize.
I brought the pizza over to the table and as we discussed who was going to have the last piece one child said, “I don’t want it. Gogo licked it.”
I said, “No, I stopped him just in time.”
And the other child said, “But that’s okay, because cats don’t have germs.”
I laughed and made reference to another family myth and went back to eating my pizza.
The child who said that cats don’t have germs suddenly said, “Wait, are you saying that cats DO have germs!?”
I guess that somewhere in the past when the kids were little, Gogo must have licked some medicine that one of them needed to take. Instead of wasting the medicine I said, “Oh, just take the medicine, cats don’t have germs. “
Either I was saying it tongue-in-cheek or the importance of the medicine outweighed my concerns of the cat germs. I suspect it was the latter. Well, I guess that stuck and just became a false truth.
We spent the evening laughing hard about the whole thing. We told other family myths that were created just as flippantly. They are funny now. Especially given that in typical things like the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, faith, purity and hard topics we have always told the kids the real truth. It does remind me to watch my words, even in the little things. And to laugh with my kids about the mistakes we make as parents along the way.
Parenthood is a journey. I’m twenty years into the journey and I learn something new every day. How about you? Are you able to laugh, be honest, forgiving and forgive-able? What have you learned?