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On My Terms

If Jim-Bob is the quintessential man about the house, Jane is the consummate warrior princess. She adventures and explores, living life on her terms, She watches over her subjects, and like a good warrior-princess, she imparts important life lessons to them.

The other day, for example, we went for a walk around the yard to take advantage of some sun before the snow. She darted up to my ankles for a scratch on the head and then trotted ahead of me to scout our path. I had my camera with me, and she obliged when I patted the trunk of a tree to coax her up to it for a better photo. I head-scratched and snapped until I got the perfect pic, but then I overstepped.

Forgetting that a warrior princess can take care of herself, I coaxed her down hoping to carry her into the house. The weather was getting ready to turn bad, and I want it all the animals inside and safe. Jane hopped down and trotted over to my hand, rubbing her head this way and that, and then I scooped her up.

She never scratches when you pick her up, but she squirms in a way that tells you she’s just not comfortable being that close to anyone. She squirmed until she was sitting on my shoulder and, from her perch, jumped down and began running towards the house door. I followed and then motioned toward the house. She came willingly, leading her subjects, Jim-Bob the orange tabby and Katy-the-Wonder-Dog.

It was a reminder that, instead of trying to impose my will, all I needed to do was ask in the first place and she would be willing to listen. It’s a lesson I constantly try to reiterate to my kids and students – respect others’ boundaries, but it was nice of Jane to provide a little object lesson and review it with me.

Little grey warrior princesses can be pretty smart.