As a family, we've been watching the wonderful, amazing, beautiful, awe-inspiring series called "Life". In all the zoos and aquariums I've been to in the last 43 years, I have not come close to seeing the assortment of astounding animals that this world has to offer.
Let me just pause here and say "Thank you, God" and "Wow". There are some incredible animals on this planet.
One theme that our narrator, Miss Oprah Winfrey, has hammered on for several episodes is the amount of time animal parents spend with their offspring.
I can recall several species that fertilize their eggs and take off.
Some species fertilize their eggs, stay until their little ones are born, then take off.
And yet others fertilize their eggs, stay until their little ones are born, tote their babies (either on their chest or back) for a few months or years, then let them fly, walk, or slither on their own.
Regardless of their commitment, these parents, at most, spend eight years with their offspring. Yes, you read that correctly, EIGHT years.
Not eighteen or twenty-two or a lifetime. Eight.
Are you getting this? Humans are the only ones who spend a lifetime worrying about, caring for, loving on, correcting, and generally, giving our lives for our little ones.
And for that, if I look at the cup as half-empty, I might get all pissy. After all, were I a chimpanzee? It would be eight years and then long vacas in neighboring rain forests. With no car seats or diaper bags to carry along. Then, after a long, relaxing period of time with my favorite chimp? I'd be ready to take on another eight years of Motherhood.
But, instead, I'm choosing the lifetime option and looking at the cup as half-full. And I'm saying: "Thank you, God. What a privilege."
Because, in the immortal words of Hannah Montana*:
"Life is what you make it
So let's make it rock."**
*Good golly. I just quoted a pop-idol who is almost 30 years younger than me. I need a life.
**I'm not sure if the fact that I can quote Hannah Montana is more embarrassing to me or to my kids.