|Rowan's squeals and enthusiasm frighten dogs sometimes...|
Rowan is growing up with animals as a part of his life because it is important to me to have them in my life, and I firmly believe that caring for an animal starting when children are young teaches connection, empathy, and give a child another flavor of love that they should experience. It also teaches them responsibility. Connection to animals is an easy way to demonstrate to kids that we are all connected- and that is a lesson all kids should learn regardless of the theology they are being taught. But given that my theology is all about connection (as is theirs)- I see Rowan having animal friends in his life as inevitable and necessary.
|Rowan at a pet store. He especially liked the |
guinea pigs and Black Mollys.
As a witchlet, Rowan will be learning a lot more than the average child when he learns about animals. He will be taught to observe animals and learn lessons that they have to teach. I will tell him about how when I was going through a hard time in my life, Hedgehog had some important lessons for me. I will tell him about how each animal has special skills, and can teach him something about life.
I will also teach him how to slow down, calm himself and talk to animals. Reach out to them and have them appreciate his efforts. Prey animals especially need extra care. Since Rowan is growing up with parrots (who are prey, not predators) he will learn first hand about how to communicate with prey when you yourself are a predator and their first inclination is to fear you.
|At the Aquarium!|
As a witch, he will learn that dying is inevitable and not necessarily scary (just sad for those left behind). Having animals in our personal lives also help children with these lessons, too. Their shorter life spans mean that often they are the first deaths that children experience. We, as parents, can help them through that grieving process.
Rowan personally loves dogs. Mom is OK with dogs, but prefers parrots, frankly. But given how much Rowan loves dogs, I see one in his future, when we have a bigger place that allows them.