My mother never let me have pets other than Betta fish. My Betta Bonus lived 5 or 6 years and traveled back and forth from Connecticut to home on every college break. I was never much of an animal person anyway. After college, but still living home, I asked if I could get a rabbit. For no known reason, I decided I wanted one. Mom said no. She said, when you have your own house, you can have whatever you want.
I never, and I mean never, have wanted human children. When certain people hear that, they flick back with trite retorts like, “You will someday” and “You’ll change your mind when you’re with the right person.” Mmm hmmmm. Socrates said, “Know thyself” and I always have when it comes to this topic. And I know human children are not for me. When I met my “right person,” it was maybe our second or third date when the topic of pet rabbits came up. We both wanted one yet never had one. So, in my own way I guess, I did become a mother when I met the right person.
To me, being a mom or serving in any loving role is about spiritual connection. The labels of mother, father, grandchild, uncle, what-have-you are all human constructs. On the level of the soul, in our truth, the labels don’t exist. Love is love. Care is care. Compassion is compassion. Connection is connection.
Judge all you want, but my love for my boys Peanut and Tater Tot and the love I see my fellow bunny moms, dads and volunteers give to these four-legged angels is the truth. If you need to label it, the connection is as maternal or paternal as a human-human relationship. Just like I don’t have the desire for human children, not everyone with a pet wants or will reach or can reach the connection. Those are the people who indiscriminately or circumstantially give up their pets. But that’s a topic for another day.
So Mom, thank you for not letting me have a rabbit when I wasn’t ready. You are a phenomenal mother (obviously, look at what you made!) and you knew yourself and knew me enough to know that pet-parenting was not appropriate at that time. When the time was right and I became a bunny-mom, you embraced your grandbunnies more than I even expected, since you aren’t necessarily an animal person. But I know you admire and respect the love I have for my boys and the compassion I channel for all of Long Island’s domestic rabbits through rescue work.
Happy Mother’s Day, whether your children hop, bark, talk… whether they live with you, live with another family, live in a rescue or shelter… they are your children, if you feel the love and connection in your soul.
Special shout out to the foster moms out there—you are love.