When your children are young you spend much of your time as mother, chauffeur, sports coach, tutor, craftsman, launderer and hero (chasing monsters from under their beds). You’re so caught up in raising them that you can’t see that far ahead to the day when they leave the nest and venture out on their own. It’s a time filled with mixed emotions. You’re happy for the adventures they will experience on their own, and sad because they aren’t your little ones anymore.
I have always been a social animal, craving interaction with others. When I became a full time author, it was a huge transition. At the same time, my last child was growing up and didn’t need me as much anymore. Not only am I a social animal, I’m a person who needs to be needed. So here I was facing an empty house, with two of my children grown and gone and the third well on her way to being independent. The house was quiet. Too quiet! And though I have my online friends, I still needed to be needed. Recognizing this need, I went in search of surrogate children to fill that need of needing to be needed. (my editors would go nuts with the repetitious words…hehehe)
I wanted children who would never grow up, always be little and love me no matter what I feed them, how I look when I’m working or how lame I am at playing with them. And they absolutely could NOT shed.
Enter the idea of lap dogs.
I went to the puppy store for one surrogate child and came back with two—a Yorkie and a malti-poo. They’ve been with me now for eight years and I love them dearly. I’m up early in the morning to take them out, feed them yummy treats and play with them when I’m supposed to be writing. They love me unconditionally and they are always happy to see me…except when it’s bath time. Now I’m one of those people who vacations in hotels that are dog-friendly and even took the most adventurous of the two dogs on a five-week long driving trip to Alaska.
I love my real children absolutely. But my surrogate kids need me, and that is all I could ask for.