Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Introducing Maisie

So this is how it happened to me.

I was outnumbered.

We were outnumbered.

It was four to two in favor of dogness in the GreenHouse (and just take a guess which two were casting negative votes?)

And yet I had this ace in my pocket: I am the mother. We are the parents. We get to choose when we add a furball to this household.

So which vote did we cast?

That would be a no. No way. Not for a long long long long LONG time.

Not until I had forgotten what torture cleaning up after a dog can be. Not until I had forgotten the agony of having to decide about what to do with my ailing companion when her quality of life had left her. Not until I had experienced one full dogless year.

Oh. Oops. That date passed in September.

The begging continued. And continued. And continued. And increased. And increased again.

David and I remained firm. We are the parents.

My children reminded us that they had never known Natalia as a puppy, that they had only known her old and frail.

They talked about the fun of an animal in the house: the bonding, the cuddling, the love.

They promised that they would take over all doggy responsibilities: the walking, the cleanup, the feeding, the training.

Sophie said all she wanted for her thirteenth birthday was a puppy. Or an iPhone. (Sigh. Teenagers.)

David and I did not budge.

Well, except...

I started looking at dogs on KSL.

And talked a lot to our friends who owned the cutest, sweetest, not tiny, non-shedding dog around: Maggie the goldendoodle.

And remembered what it was like when Tally could run with me, and when she would lay her head on my knee when I was sad, and how devoted she was to us.

But still...we weren't changing our minds.

(But that Maggie sure is cute. And so well-behaved. And how great is it that she doesn't shed?...)

(And look, here is a sweet goldendoodle on KSL. Oh look, here are some more. Oh, aren't they darling?)

No. Not budging.

The stalemate continued.

Except (obviously) there was some movement on one side of the argument.
And this is how it went down. (I hope this doesn't sound flippant, or disrespectful, because for me, it was the opposite.)

A month ago a friend lost her teenage daughter in a tragic accident. I was rocked to the core, devastated for them, for their extended family that I love and respect. I was brought to my knees in grief for their loss.

And we went out and bought a dog. That very day.

I remembered what it was to feel the earth quake because of losing someone I love. I remembered feeling some regrets for not cherishing more, for not loving more, for not risking more. And I thought about my sweet children and their desire to love, and how long they'd begged, and how could I say no to embracing the beautiful chaos of more love? Wouldn't I rather live with chaos than regret?

So along came Maisie.

Did I say beautiful chaos?

How about just plain chaos?

OK, it's beautiful chaos.

Most of the time.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My Last Political Post for a Couple of Years. I Promise.

You are all reading the Facebook posts, I'm sure.

They are exhausting me.

I've been thinking about our beautiful election day. No violence. No mobs. No threats. I LOVE election day for what it represents. I LOVE election day for the patriotism it inspires in my heart. We have the right to vote. To CHOOSE. To elect officials who love our country, who have devoted much of their lives to public service. We have the RIGHT to disagree with our local, state or national leaders! We have the right to call our current president Satan, or Hitler, to make racist comments about him and there is NO RECRIMINATION (well, other than a lot of people thinking you sound silly, but that doesn't seem to stop people)!

This is a gift. It's the representation of the blood and lives of countless soldiers and politicians who have made it possible for us to live freely. I am beyond grateful for this gift. I respect our armed forces, past and present. I also respect all the men and women of all political parties who have sacrificed to put their lives into the public eye for our country. They face ridicule, disrespect, and unkindness on a daily basis. Do I agree with all of them? No way. But I choose not to allow my disagreement to make my heart bitter.

Thanks to many of the FB comments on my wall, I've been thinking about fear again, and the places that it takes us. I've been thinking about how creating divisions and groups in our minds is dangerous. I've been thinking about The Big Lie again, and the way people use it, and the way people get sucked into it. People's attitudes are more disturbing to me than who we chose as our president. I've been thinking about the quote I just heard (but can't find, so apparently I'm misquoting it. Plus I don't know who said it. So I'm less than helpful here) that for our nation, the person in the White House matters much less than the person in your house.

There is an antidote to all of this rage and fear and hatred. It's found in faith and peace and hope (even if you're not religious, these are powerful antidotes.) In my scripture study today I read Titus 3. It is SO appropriate to our discourse in the public sphere.
1-2 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness to all men. 9 ...Avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
Love it.

Would I feel this way even if my candidate had lost? Well, here's the shocker.

Wait for it.

He did.

(Just for the record, I didn't change my vote last minute because I distrust Obama. I'm actually thrilled to see him get another four years. One of my reasons I changed was that I just felt that the current low level of public discourse and distrust he faces may never allow him to have the bipartisan support we need to get any legislation of import passed and that maybe a clean slate with a new president could help.)

So be nice! Take a chill pill! Go see a movie or read a good book! Turn off the media! Don't listen to those talking heads who are all about death and destruction and the end of America! Do something good for someone in your neighborhood! Make a nice dinner for your family and pray with them that we will all learn to be kinder, more civil, and can work together for the good of all...also, that we don't turn into socialists. (Ha ha. Kidding!)

(And talk about personal sacrifice in the realm of public service: I wanted to get this post finished so badly that I ignored the whining puppy. Until she peed. On my lap. You're welcome.)