I’ve always had this feeling that I’m supposed to do something more with my life. Work with a charity, start my own non-profit or do some volunteer work. I really felt that I could do more to have a positive impact on my community. That feeling weighed heavily on me until just last week when my daughter helped me see that I’m already right in the middle of doing something very important.
We were in the last stages of our standard bedtime ritual: wrestle into PJs, debate over an appropriate bedtime snack and then read stories. For her birthday in December I bought her a book called, “Over 1000 Fantastic Animal Facts”. She is a huge animal lover and has evolved from rescuing animals with Diego to learning some serious animal facts with the Wild Kratts. When I read a section of her new book that talked about tigers becoming extinct she asked what “astinct”meant. I told her that a lot of tigers had died and there weren’t many left in the whole world. She looked at me with sincerity and passion and said, “When I grow up, I’m going to be an animal scientist and save those astinct animals”. Insert catch in the throat and mini mom sob here.
With that one small but passionate comment, I realized that by doing my best to raise thoughtful, interested and educated children I am making the best contribution I could ever offer in my lifetime. Between my daughter and my son, there may be a very important animal scientist, a brilliant journalist or a gifted musician. I’ll be proud of them no matter what and, in the meantime, the weight feels a little lighter, not because the job is any easier but because I now know the purpose of my own life.
In an effort to help my kids learn more about animal science, here’s my second crazy quest – do you know of any great websites to help teach them about animals? The Wild Kratts have taught them a lot so the challenge is to find websites that are fun, educational, and that provide lots of detailed information. They’re absorbing all things animal right now – do you have any links you can share?