Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Conrad, my little animal rights activist

Conrad, Conrad, Conrad. I have loved his name ever since I was 12. To finally have a Conrad of my own is a dream come true. To watch him grow physically and to see his personality sprout has been an amazing adventure and has taught me that the nature vs. nurture argument is at a draw. He was born with an inquisitive and venerable disposition. I will often say he is an old man in an 8-year-old's body. If he has a choice to sit at the children's table or with the adults, he will always find a space with the adults. He sees every rule and moral issue in black and white. Conrad enjoys being cheeky and he is precocious to say the least, but he is full of spirit, passion and love especially towards his family and animals. His adoration for animals started when he spoke his 1st word. No it wasn't "Mama" or "Dada," it was "Kitty" and "Puppy." We knew then, that an obsessions was budding. Later at age 2, he became fascinated by horses and being an adventurous type of child, he was willing to feed and even ride on them whenever an occasion permitted.
I'm going to skip a few years of his life and highlight an episode when we lived in Guadalajara, Mexico. During our summer of 2006, a lot was happening in the
world: The presidential elections in Mexico, The World Soccer Championship, and the Bullfights in Madrid. I'm sure there was much more going on at that time, but to be honest, those were the only things showing on our Mexican television. As we watched the bull fighting, I realized that it wasn't just a show, but that they (the matadors) were slowly killing the bull, by stabbing him with their swords, so that in the end the "head matador" could kill the bull with great ease.
It's all rather barbaric, in my opinion and in Conrad's as well. So, after ranting and raving about the inhumanity of it all and plotting a search and rescue mission to Spain, t
o take back the Bulls, (Heaven only know where they would end up, probably our apartment) Conrad decided to become a vegetarian!!!
It was short lived, a week really. (Guadalajara has fabulous street tacos!!!)
But the vigor and vim started such a blaze in his soul, that I think he could make any loyal PETA member blush.
Case in point: (This was a dialog I had with Conrad just last week when we saw a dea
d, un-squished squirrel in the road. I think he died of natural causes or by falling, due to unsure footing.)

Conrad: Mom, I need you to be completely honest with me.
me: O.K?
(I was afraid he was going to ask me about Santa Claus or Sex.)
Conrad: Do you love squirrels more than me?
me: (chuckling) No, I do not love squirrels more than you.

Conrad: ha! Just as I thought, you don't care about animals at all, do you?
me: (laughing) I care about animals, but I'm not going to cry when I see a dead squirrel in the road. It's just the "Circle of life."
Conrad: Mom, this isn't the Lion King, this is for REAL! and you just don't care.

(I must admit I w
as thinking "Lion King." Is that bad?)


Jill said...

Monica! I love that conversation. I too have a child with a will and spirit I couldn't brake or bend even if I wanted too. I think our job is to raise them up to be as healthy and educated as possible, but as unchanged from who they are as possible. Maybe one day Katy and Conrad really will be the spy duo they have plotted to be. Although, Katy may be far to accepting of "the circle of life" for Conrad's liking.
She "invinted" the idea of animal disection for research when she was four. Her first purposed victim eas to be a turtle.

Katy: "What if we found a turtle and cut it in half. Then we could see what it looks like on the inside!"

Mom: "Katy, I think that would kill the turtle."

Katy: "There are lots of turtles."

Don't tell Conrad.

(she placed Conrad's picture up on her little board the second she got it, yesterday. She can't wait to find something to send back to him.)

The Mortensens said...

That's hilarious. what fun to have an 8 year old!

chanel said...

MONICA!!! HI!!!!!
What would I do without Sarah Vidall and all her links??? It is so fun to find you guys! I CANNOT BELIEVE CONRAD IS EIGHT!!!!! WHAT????? He grew since i last saw you? WEIRD!!!!

Where are you guys now??? Your kids are so cute!!! Conrad is all you! Riley is Hans and Amelia is such a good mix! CUTE CUTE CUTE!!!

It so fun to see how your family has grown!!!!
My blog is private, so you'll have to email me your address so I can put you on my reader list!! YAY!!!!

The Morris Fam said...

I still remember Conrad carrying around a doggy leash, minus the doggy! Sooo cute!

Angie Larkin said...

Conrad is quite the little mini Hans. I remember when I first met Hans, he had the same black and white no nonsense approach to life. No use for fluff. What a fun little companion Conrad must be!