Over the course of the last year, we have lost several pets. Some of these losses weigh heavy in my heart and seem to exert some unknown pressure in the back of my eyes. Passing their final resting place twangs some invisible string in my chest cavity.
But each ending has been an opportunity for the children to learn and me to wonder at the workings of an open mind. I have witnessed their capacity for compassion and grief juxtaposed with immaturity and nonchalance. I have seen how wildly different my children are and how individual their thought processes are.
I have also seen where they are lacking and wonder what I should do. The balance between respecting their personal inclinations and my need to instill compassion and reality is not an easy thing to find.