Demoted: when someone has been given a lower rank or less senior position
To All of My Babies,
This letter is to my babies. I have 5 of them. Sure, three of them are “just” fur-babies, but nonetheless, they are all still my babies.
Dear Bosco – the cat I got in grad school,
I adopted you from a family who was moving to Australia, who almost gave you to the pound. You were there for me during one of the most difficult parts of my life. I was getting a Master’s degree. You sat on the couch next to me through all hours of the night while I studied, and said nothing. You were under the computer desk when I spent hundreds of hours writing my Master’s thesis. Never distracted me, just loved me. Once in a while you would try to ninja swipe that Cheez-It from my hand, but other than that, you were just there. Peaceful. Quiet. Loving. Purring. You slept on top of my head when I went to bed. Trying to kick you out of the room was pointless, as you would always meow at a decibel level that was far too loud to ignore. You listened to my drama (and boy did I have some during those years), you didn’t judge, you just listened and gave me that eye contact that normal cats don’t give. You craved my presence, and you had to be touching me to sleep. You slept on my head for years. At 16 years old now, you are still here with us. You have since turned into an outdoor cat (thankfully you love being outdoors), with a heater in the garage, and no longer sleep on my head or snuggle me on the couch. The most attention you get is your weekly cat nip fix and a few pets a day. You’ve never been in better shape, with a more beautiful coat, with more spunk. You love the outdoors, but still, it’s different. You haven’t been replaced, but much to your dismay, you have been demoted. I am sorry for that, but I love you still and always.
You were truly our first baby as a married couple. We adopted you from a backyard breeder, we saved your life, we took you everywhere, you slept in our bed, you lounged on our couch, and we spent money on dog things that only ridiculously obnoxious dog owners spend money on. You were the first pet baby that my husband and I took care of, from the time you were 6 weeks old. You got walks twice a day, you wore a silly sweater, and you were the happiest and most loving dog. You would have done anything to protect your family, and you are still that way… almost 7 years later. Now, you have another dog to share that couch with, the outdoor cat to share the yard with, and you share the home with 2 little girls that you tolerate and have eventually learned to love. You no longer sleep on our bed, not even on our bedroom floor, but rather have been relocated to the living room dog bed. You get your walks, but they aren’t daily and they aren’t only with you. You haven’t been replaced, but much to your dismay, you have been demoted.
Dear Guido – the dog we bought when we had a miscarriage
Sweet Guido the pug. You came to us at the most difficult time in our marriage at that point. We had a miscarriage on Easter. We were falling apart, and you came into our life. I am still so thankful for that. You got us through the most trying part of our lives as a married couple. The loss was huge. Nothing could replace that loss, but you were surely a wonderful distraction of sweet puppy snuggles. You helped heal the pain of loss, you helped me grieve by just being there and loving me. You joined Marlo the Boxer. She didn’t like you at first, but she learned to tolerate you, and then soon after, you became her best friend. You both slept with us in our bed, and you both lounged on the couch. You came with us on every trip, every walk, every parade, and you were the happiest pug on earth. Now, you share the couch with not just another dog, but 2 little girls. You don’t sleep in the bed, or next to the bed, but you have also been relocated to the living room. Your snoring keeps the baby up, so we had to block you from the back of the house for sleeping. You share the yard with a cat, a dog, and 2 little girls. It really isn’t all about you anymore, by any stretch of the imagination. You don’t get walks every day, but when you do, you give us that same sweet pug smile you have always given us. You love us unconditionally. You haven’t been replaced, but much to your dismay, you have been demoted.
Our first born. Our beautiful baby girl. You changed our life in every amazing, beautiful, challenging, exhausting way possible. You turned our life upside down, and seemingly nothing else mattered but you. You were always put first, and rightly so. You were a challenging baby to the say the least, but you are now the most thoughtful, smart, creative, inquisitive, and loving little girl. You are so special to us. You are our hearts. We dreamed of your arrival for years, and when we were finally Blessed with your beautiful spirit, we felt our life was complete. Those 2 and a half years with “just you,” were incredible. I am so glad that I never missed a minute of them. They went by in a blink. With the arrival of your baby sister in July 2015, your life was changed. You haven’t been replaced, but much to your dismay, you have been temporarily demoted.
Dear Second Daughter – who made our hearts grow even bigger
Our second born. Our beautiful baby girl. You changed our life yet again, in every amazing, beautiful, challenging, exhausting way possible. The exhaustion is still here. Immensely. But it is worth it. You changed our family dynamic in a challenging way for a few months, as once again, the new addition turned the focus. We had to give you all the attention for a while, as you tried to adjust to this world, and you were not happy about it for quite some time. Colic seems to run in our family, whatever colic really is. Good news is, that stage has ended, and you are now the happiest, smiliest, most easy going little lady. After a few months of it being all about you, we had to turn some of the focus back to your sister. She struggled with the adjustment, but now she loves you so much. You are the first thing she talks about in the morning, and the last person she prays for before she shuts her eyes for bed. I am happy to say little girl that you have not been replaced, but in the throws of toddlerhood and also raising your three-nager sister, sometimes you too are temporarily demoted.
Dear readers of this blog,
I know that all of you experience this to some degree in your homes. Life is a constant transition between feeling replaced, being demoted, rising above it all, and finding a balance. We are still working on that balance in our home. We have 2 dogs, a cat, and 2 little girls. Some days, it is a lot to juggle. Other days, we feel like we have it all together. Those days are rare, but when they happen, don’t we feel invincible? Be kind to yourselves. Life has its seasons, everyone gets temporarily demoted, but it is never final. It never lasts forever. Balance returns, chaos ensues; it’s all part of this beautiful thing called life. Sometimes we just have to realize this and be present. Everyone who has been demoted in the professional world will tell you that it doesn’t last forever. They again rise to the top. They find their place, and many times, it is better than where they were before. I like to think that we are all demoted once in a while, but that we never stay there. We are working on finding our balance again. I hope you are finding yours.