Kitten Watch Update: June 16

It took me an extra minute to find Jane this morning. I wasn’t panicked, exactly; there are only so many places in my tiny office a kitten can hide. But I did have to check each of those places twice before I figured it out. She was in the giant kitten pile with all the others. I didn’t see her because she looks so much like the L kittens now, she blended in. Let me repeat, JANEY LOOKS LIKE A REGULAR KITTEN. She’s put on enough weight and fluff that she BLENDS IN. 😭 I just… WE DID IT, friends. She’s growing and THRIVING, and I didn’t eff it up TOO BADLY after all.

And OK, yes, I’m feeling a touch sentimental this week about adopting tiny baby girls and plying them with formula and love. And sitting up in the middle of the night and snuggling them and telling them to grow. PLEASE grow. Because ~23 years ago, in the middle of Saigon, I held my human baby girl for the first time and lost my heart (and my mind and my sleep) forever. And I wondered many times—many, many times—throughout the years how much I was effing it up. ESPECIALLY once I ditched the parenting books and the how-to guides and trusted both my gut and my child to know what we needed. That felt like the Biggest Risk of All. Telling Dr. Dobson to shove it. Allowing my heart to lead us, instead. Allowing Love a significantly larger role than Logic. Responding to my children with compassion instead of punishment.

Well, I know the answer now. I have calculated the amount of EffUps I made. And that answer is Some. I EffedUp Some. Which is not None… but is also not All. So HOORAY! I am a human who raised a strong, smart, capable human! ⭐️ And I just 😭… WE DID IT, friends. She’s growing and THRIVING, and I didn’t eff it up TOO BADLY after all.

The Qs are in vaccine recovery mode after receiving their first shots. It’s no secret around here that we are very pro vaccine. Vaccines for children. Vaccines for grownups. Vaccines for chickenpox. Vaccines for HPV. Vaccines for Covid. All the vaccines! There is an optional vaccine, you say? Sign my people up! We are in!

Now unlike other pro-vaxxers, I will neither deny nor minimize the risks. Are there risks? Yes. Are they sometimes significant? Yes. I hate that part of it. I do. And my stomach churned every time I signed one of those hideous forms authorizing my kids’ vaccines. Thing is, ALL OF LIFE MEANS WEIGHING RISK. And the data is ridiculously clear that the benefits of vaccines—both for the individual and the community—outweigh the risks. And, as a parent, you will spend the rest of child-rearing making hideous, stomach-churning choices. Like letting your elementary aged child walk to school. And letting the teenagers DRIVE ACTUAL CARS on REAL ROADS. Both of which build confidence and foster freedom and responsibility (benefits) but are FREAKING DANGEROUS (ugh, risks). Listen. I HATE this part of parenting. The part where there’s any risk at all to those I love. But there’s also a kind of excruciating joy in allowing our people to live fully and freely. It’s agony and ecstasy, you know? Both/And.

If you or yours are also in vaccines recovery mode, I recommend following the Q Kittens’ Tips. Namely, be gentle with yourself. Sleep whenever and wherever you like. Make no apologies for your lack of productivity. And do whatever brings you comfort.

OK? OK. I’m glad we had this chat.

Also, P.S. I know not everyone is medically able to be vaccinated. My niece who had cancer couldn’t during her treatment. My nephew who is allergic to Planet Earth and medically fragile can’t. It’s for folks like them that I make this point. If we’re not working together to protect the most vulnerable, what are we even doing?

The wedding is in, like, 60 hours, so it’s crunch time, and I know you’re wondering if Greg will be wearing clothes. Well, there’s good news and bad news. Good news is I ordered him two pairs of slacks in different brands so at least one would fit, and they arrived today IN TIME FOR THE WEDDING! 🙌🏼 Bad news is, neither fit despite my best efforts, and there’s not time to order new ones, so we’re back to the snowman pajama pants or full frontal nudity, neither of which is a traditional look for the father of the bride. 😂 Lord love a duck. Since I am Managing All the Things with time running down on the play clock, Greg is on his own. 🤷🏻‍♀️ He’s a whole grown-ass adult who’s perfectly capable of dressing himself. Wish him luck, friends. Or, if you’re hoping to see snowmen in June wedding pics, don’t. #TeamSnowman ☃️ 😹

Pictured: Quency because he’s our fashionista. If anyone has style vibes to send Greg’s way, it’s this guy.

ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
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