Thursday, May 4, 2017

I Put The World On Pause. Mute. That's When It Kind Of Happened.

I follow quite a few Mommy (of human kids) Bloggers and have kept up with their blog columns over the years. They're honest. Raw. Funny. Inspiring. And, they're not afraid of dropping the F-Bomb. Over the past month or so, I've come across a couple of shared stories that put things into perspective for me today.

Yes, as a Dog Mom I find inspiration from all Moms.

The first story involved a Mom of a high school senior. Her son had been extremely stressed out about it being the last year of high school. Tests. College applications. Having to make decisions about the rest of his life. What career to choose. Throughout all of this, her son had slacked off on household chores. That included keeping his room cleaned.

Long story short, his room was out of control and the odor was noticeable. 

Instead of adding to her son's stress level, this Mom decided to take an entire afternoon and clean his room. She did his laundry, vacuumed, cleaned all of his bedding, organized his desk, and put everything in their rightful place.

When her son got home, he went immediately upstairs. A few minutes later, he came back downstairs and inquired why everything had been done for him. That led to a long, overdue discussion, some bonding time, and a heartfelt thank you from her son.

The second story involved a much younger child. The Mom recently divorced the child's father. Although she tried her best to keep peace within the house and her son unscathed by the recent events, it had taken a toll on him.

One day, he lashed out in school and swore at his teacher. Her son was sent to the Principal's office. Mom was called and instructed to pick up her son.

Her son expected his Mom to show up angry, to be scolded on the way home, and grounded. However, much to his surprise, his Mom drove to his favorite place to eat lunch.

"Order what you want, but save room because we're having ice cream sundaes for dessert."

Her son was confused, but complied.

After lunch and dessert, the Mom took her son to his favorite arcade place. That's where they spent the entire afternoon playing games, talking, venting, and reconnecting.

"You're not in trouble. I'm not going to be mad at you. I'm not going to ground you. What I do expect is that you'll apologize to your teacher tomorrow..."

Both of the stories I shared are a condensed version of what I read. The stories from these Moms in their entirety had me in tears.

I've read many stories like this in the past. They've been written by Moms, spouses, best friends, coworkers, etc.

For me, as these stories surface, it's always acted a reminder to take a few steps back when things or people are off or out of character...

There have been days when Lisa or I are off. We're cranky. Short. Not functioning up to par. Out of sorts. We've both snapped at the other. During these times, it's so easy to have a knee jerk reaction and to get upset, but we've resisted that urge. Instead, we take a step back. Maybe 2 or 3 steps back. By doing so, we're able to get a glimpse of the big picture.

Maybe there's something going on at work.

Maybe something was said in an email that rubbed one of us the wrong way.

Maybe we've been thinking too much about things we'd rather not think about.

Maybe one of us is overtired and dealing with a lot of work stress.

The list goes on.

Regardless, it takes a toll.

That brings me to today.

Willa was out of character.

She chewed a hole in one of the pet pillows and pulled out most of the stuffing.

She peed on the kitchen floor about 10 minutes after being taken out.

She managed to annoy Coco, Sophie, and Lobo.

She chewed a hole in one of the doggy blankets.

She wouldn't settle down.

The last straw was her laying on the back of the sofa. All of our kids are allowed on every bit of furniture, but the back of the sofa is off limits. If she falls, she could get hurt.

Thankfully, Willa is the only one who has any interest on the back of the sofa.

For almost 2 hours, I worked on the same paragraph because of this...

Sure, I could have gotten irritated.

I could have moved to another room and used the gate to separate us.

But, I didn't.

I decided to sit on the sofa. On my way to the sofa, I discovered her on the back of the sofa again.

"What's going on with you today, WillaBean?"

She tilted her head. I snapped a photo.

Then we sat on the sofa together. I put the world on pause. Mute.

She laid on my chest with her head curled up against my face. I massaged her shoulders and back. She was loving every second.

That's when it kind of happened.

I had a nice chat with Willa.

"You've been part of our family for a little over 2 months. I know it wasn't easy for you when you first arrived. You were in heat. You had no idea what was going on. There was so much to adjust to. A new home. New Mommies. New siblings. New sounds. New everything. That must have been so hard for you. It probably still is. 

Although we can't fully understand what that was like for you, just know that both your Mommies, Coco, Sophie, Lobo, and Olivia love and adore you to the moon and back and beyond. This is your forever home. You'll always be loved and taken care of and everything between. We'll never let anyone hurt you or put you in harm's way. And, when you have days like today, that's okay."

We sat on the sofa for another 15 minutes. I could feel Willa relax.

Then, she perked up. Jumped off the sofa. Found her fetch toy.

"Mom, can you play fetch with me for 186th time today?"


"I'd love to, WillaBean."

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