Covid-19 · Fostering · Parenting · Uncategorized

Outside

My dog and cat both like to go outside in the morning. Or at least they think they do. They both have differing opinions about what outside should be like when they do go out.

The dog, of course, has to go outside each day to do her business. Not going outside is not an option for her. No matter what the temperature or the weather conditions, she goes outside. What changes is how long she is out there and how far she goes from the door. That’s up to her.

The cat goes outside because she wants to. She has the privilege of having all her needs met indoors. She likes to go out and watch the birds and in the summer she likes to roll on the warm concrete and sometimes explore the yard. In the winter she rarely leaves the deck.

They both love the summer best because we have a pet door that remains available to them all day. They can both go in and out whenever they want to. This is the reality they both long for!

The winter is different. I let them both out in the morning. Sometimes the cat feels the cold hit her whiskers and doesn’t go out. Sometimes she goes out and as soon as the door closes behind her she presses up against the door waiting to come back in. Other times she will sit out happily, sniffing and looking around.

After I let them out I usually am busy making my breakfast and I don’t let them back in until they are both at the door. This means the cat will often sit pressed up against the patio door complaining while the dog explores the yard. The cat has a very different opinion of how one should enjoy the outdoors in the morning. She doesn’t think her choice should be impacted by the dogs actions.

If we could understand feline language I’m sure we would hear some choice words aimed at the dog for dilly dallying around when she is ready to go in! But they co-exist peacefully and, although not necessarily friends, their existence is shared and they would miss one another if one was gone.

In this current season of pandemic there are some different opinions of how to enjoy the world around us. As the Alberta government starts to lift restrictions… can I just pause for a moment and change that word to protections… doesn’t it all read differently if we recognize that the measures put in place were for our protection. Can we understand why some people are alarmed that the government is lifting the protections that were put in place with the best science available at the time, for the good of all.

Much like my pets enjoy summer and the freedom to come and go as they please, we all long for the ability to do what we feel is right for us in this upcoming season of learning to live with Covid 19. We will continue to have differing opinions on what that should look like because WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT! We have all experienced the pandemic differently and formed our opinion on how to move forward from our own experiences. For some it has been a ridiculous inconvenience but it hasn’t impacted their livelihood. For others it has been a devastating blow that will take years to recover from.

We are much like the cat and dog. We have different needs, different motivations and a differing opinion of what to do when we’re out and about.

The best thing we can do moving forward is assume the best of everyone! Very few people are out there trying to be nasty to others. The majority of people are doing the best they can with the information they have in the situations they get to deal with.

I am so tired of the demonizing or heroizing (is that a word?) of people for their choices. We need to stop attaching a moral value to people’s response to Covid 19.

In the world of foster care we are constantly reminded to look beyond behaviours we don’t understand and try to see what might be motivating it. Is it a lack of resources to deal with the current situation? Is it stress? Is it unresolved trauma? All of these things contribute to how we respond to the world around us. This is the same in the world at large. People’s response to Covid will be shaped by many things that you may not be aware of.

What we all can do is give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Let’s choose to believe they are doing the best they can with what they have. If your opinions are asked for, please share them with grace. If they’re not asked for, they are just condemnation aimed at those you disagree with.

Much like my pets… I believe summer is coming! We will all get to a time where we can choose to enjoy the world how we see fit. In the meantime, whether you’re the pet pressed up against the door wanting to return to warmth and safety, or the pet cruising around the back yard for purposes only you understand… BE KIND

We’re all in this together!

In the midst of the mess

Marny

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