Sunday, February 19, 2012
A Little on the Dog, on Motherhood & Life
So these girls can't really take their eyes off Rosie and I have to share just a couple scenes. According to the SPCA, she is 1 year and 4 months and is big as she is going to get, and I love that she still has a puppy look to her without the "puppyness."
The girls are soooo happy! Hearing Molly bellow out "bye-by Roheee" and Anna Cate play with her like they are made for each other is so fun to watch!
Rosie is settling in to her new life pretty well, too. She has managed to poop on Molly's white shag rug and pee on Anna Cate's pink one, but I still love her.
Last night, after the girls went to bed, BJ said, "you know what I've thought about already -- when these girls have to say goodbye to her. Anna Cate will be a teenager and she will remember this day." Stunned, I said, "I thought the same thing already." I went down emotional memory lane and I distinctly remember the night when Daisy died; I was 12 years old. It hurt so much, I was sick. I remember the thought that loving others comes with a lot of pain, but thought it was worth it. I'm an old soul, always have been. (Several years later, when I got the call that Duke was going to be put down, my brother was in Iraq so when my mother called me in hysterical tears, I thought it was Douglas so Duke's old life ending seemed like a relief to the alternative I'd feared.)
Daisy's death was my first glimpse of loss but for over twenty years, I've chosen the joy, letting myself (and my daughters) risk the pain and the poop. On this little journey of our family, I'm reminded how love and these life lessons outshine the pain... even in the face of inevitability.
I love this part of motherhood, the real stuff and the ways that both motherhood and love empower me in similar ways. I've read that quote before about when you have children, you choose to have your heart walk in another's body and how true that is. This morning in church, I embraced a mother for whom I pray daily in the grief of losing her son to cancer. (You can learn more about him here). When we first walked in, scurrying to our pew (late because we had the first Rosie poop-on-the-white-rug incident this morning), this grieving mother flashed a genuine smile at Anna Cate. After the service, she told me it made her happy to see young children, even to hear the hymnal drop (the awkward way it always plops in the most silent parts of a service), and to think about when her children were young. Her genuine smile and this interaction embodied, in the most raw way, this real life lesson I'm talking about. To be clear, I'm not talking about losing a dog. I'm talking about loving our children. In her smile and in her tears, I saw how joy and love trump.
"I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all."
- Alfred, Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam