One week ago I sat here pouring out the angst and heartache of having to break my children's hearts at Christmas. We were saying no to a dog and I typed the grave injustice of it all...
Today this dog snores on our landlord's loveseat, nose pointed in the air, her name Cocoa.
I should apologize first to my friends and father, whom I bombarded with tearful texts and questions and frustrations. Our life is normal, but it's also not. And the bumper-stickered car next door - "A dog is for life, not just for Christmas" - haunts me still. I'm not accustomed to making decisions "for life." I can hardly make decisions "for Monday."
But after 48 hours worth of research and emotionally turbulent negotiations, we said yes to a dog anyway.
Ella hasn't stopped creating still-life portraits of her since. Our house is overflowing with Cocoa drawings. Four days in and we wake up early, to make sure she goes outside. Matt keeps her from climbing into bed with us at night. And we have four babies now lined up on the sofa (sticky hands on her head and her ears and her back left paw) watching cartoons after school. Asher is more puppy than she is and Matt says, "Now I feel like an adult."
How did this all happen? Life and work and house and dog in Ireland? I do not know, and yet I know it seemed to take forever. I know it was over 10 years of waiting and praying and mumbling Soon, Yes, Thank You over and over. I know we're not here without the very literal support - emotional and spiritual and financial scaffoldings, holding us ever higher and stronger - of hundreds of people. I know I wake up to a lurcher/terrier cross the colour of Bambie and ask, "Do you think we've all gone mad?"
My mother says, No. You've fulfilled a promise.
And I don't say it then, only realizing it now: No, not us. But Him. Oh, the story isn't over. Not by a long shot.
My anxiety is at an all time high with this crazy girl-pup. I didn't even think about the fact that we just emerged from babyhood only to find ourselves back to scheduling meals and toilet breaks. There are two dog beds in my house that are as-yet unused. I'm totally terrified of leaving her alone for any length of time. And Asher follows her around the house asking, "How I ride on her?" The amount of dog-related-including-picture texts I've sent is absolutely over the top. We've all become crazy over raisins, since apparently they're poisonous to dogs, and the wee pup next door has gone crazy with this new canine in her midst. They take turns barking and whining and the aforementioned fulfilled promise seems null and void in the midst of us actually choosing to ADD ANOTHER LIVING BEING to our everyday chaos. I'm already having visions and night sweats over placing her on a plane and taking her back to Kansas with us in a few years.
We are barking mad, I think.
But look at this face. I mean, really. Like this story was going to end (or begin) any other way.
What crazy, night-sweats-inducing decision have you made recently?
I'm contemplating cutting off all my hair if only to make the dog decision pale in comparison.