Helping others helps me. Knee-deep in breast cancer treatment a few years ago—yes, it's been years—I found it soothing to my distressed soul to reach out to people in need, mostly cancer folks who needed guidance, sometimes others in tough life positions. Helping always puts my personal scenarios in perspective, teaches me there are bigger issues than my own, makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I think my little boys know how I feel.
"Aren't you so happy Froto got to go outside for a walk?" Joey asked about the big black dog we'd walked at the Humane Society the other day. "Yes, I am," I told him. I meant it. It does make me happy to know we're helping abandoned and neglected animals. What makes me the happiest is the fact that Joey is the one managing this volunteer project of ours.
Spurred on by his passionate pursuit of a pet—and his parents' definite rejection of such an endeavor—I spearheaded this animal venture. I made a phone call and took the three of us to an orientation session. Joey has done the rest. He determines when we visit the run-down location that cares so lovingly for its rescued dogs, cats, and kittens. He plots our course while there—we always hold kittens first, then visit with and brush the big cats, then walk a few dogs, then head back to the kittens—and he determines how long we stay. We've been there for as long as three hours. Some days, an hour, tops. Danny goes along with the whole plan, never complains, and just today asked if we could go back. We'd already chosen a movie for this afternoon—Journey to the Center of the Earth, the 3D version—so I told him we'll go another day. He can't wait. He's in the process of picking his new favorite kitten—the scrawny little one he chose first was just recently adopted.
Joey has a favorite too—a cute tabby kitten that seems to know him already. Joey is anticipating how sad he'll be when we arrive and find the kitten is no longer there. I told him it will be a good thing, it will mean the kitten has found a home. It's not sad, I told him. It's happy.
Helping makes me happy. I think it makes my boys happy too.