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Friday, October 13, 2017

But...I Am Dog.

I have zero shame in that I love my dog more than I like most people.  My dog is arguably one of the most amazing dogs ever, and those that have met her would agree.  She's lovable, and snuggly, and lazy, and oddly the most intelligent moron ever.  She was a dream to train, having only ever had a single accident in the house as a puppy!  And to many's surprise, she's trained to use a bell.  A bell that hangs on our door which she rings when she'd like to go out.

A bell, you're thinking?!?  Yep.  A bell.  She's a coonhound, and when she was a teeny puppy I had visions of an 80lb beast with a deafening bay in my then small home with low ceilings and hardwood floors.  So, I trained her to ring a bell. 

Now then, she and I have conversations.  Glorious conversations.  And I am not weird/alone.  Many people who come into my home have conversations with her.  While she cannot actually talk, her face is terribly expressive and she has a voice.  It's low for a female, and dopey...yet confident and full of certainty.  And when I was working, I always found myself longing to be home to have conversations with her.  ...what was I thinking?

[bell rings, my son puts SoCo out, three minutes later she barks twice to come back in]
Me: Ugh, you wrapped yourself around the deck.
SoCo: I am dog, and there were sniffies.  I was sniffing them.

[we go back inside...aaaaand three minutes later the bell rings again]
Me: Seriously?!?  Dude...  I'm not in the mood for your shenanigans.
SoCo: I am dog and it was wet out.  I had to pee.  I didn't have to poop.  Now I do. 
Me: You're killin' me, Smalls...

[I let her out; aaaaand three minutes later she barks twice again to come back in]
Me: SoCo, we are NOT doing this, this morning!  Did you do your business?
SoCo: I am dog and I pooped, Mama.  It's wet out and I don't like how it feels on my paws and you're going to complain that I smell like wet dog in about five minutes.  Let me in.
Me: Right...[sighing] you're right.  Let's go.

[we go back inside...aaaaand three minutes later the bell rings again]
Me: No.  Absolutely not!  You've peed.  You've pooped.  You did all that, right?  You're not going back out!  No.  Enough.
SoCo: I am dog and I did do those things.  But.  There's sniffies.
Me: You're not going out to sniff.  No way.
SoCo: I am dog and there's a squirrel!
Me: OMG, NO!
SoCo: The neighbor's cat?
SoCo: The mailman!  I know he's lurking about.  Don't worry, I'll protect you.
Me: Sweet Jesus.  It's 7:30am.  There's no mailman, and are you kidding me?!?  Eric the mailman doesn't lurk.
SoCo: I am dog, and he lurks!  I've seen it.  You're not always home.  He's sketchy and I'm trying to save you.  You're ungrateful.
Me: Ungrateful?!?  Over the mailman who is NOT sketchy?  You're ridiculous.  Go lay down.
SoCo: I am dog and I'm laying down under protest.  [she throws herself onto the floor right in front of the door]  PROTEST!

Thank God.  I start muttering to myself as I do the dishes and push the younger Fay children along in their morning routines.  We're almost out the door to catch the bus...

[bell rings]
SoCo: I am dog, and I'd like to bark at you while you stand at the bus stop. 
Me: OMG, NO!
SoCo: ...but the mailman!  He's out there, I know it!  I'm just protecting you and my kids.
Me: NO!
SoCo: A chipmunk?  A squirrel?  That neighbor boy who stands in the front window and makes me upset with his yelling and faces? 
Me: No!  Go watch the Smithsonian Channel I put on for you.
SoCo: THE SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL?!?  Deal.  I won't ring again for another hour.


Friday, October 6, 2017

What It's All For

Over the last three weeks, I've been asked a total of 1M times, "Why did you leave your job?"  Answers are rarely simple, but I wanted to put it to rest and say my piece.

Ultimately, the catalyst for me to leave my job was a battle over a day off.  Today, in fact.  I needed to care for my children.  The final nail in the coffin of that decision was when I was told to "try one more time to find alternative care for your children."  No.  Not happening.  I'm their mother, I AM their alternative care!

And every day of this first week back at resuming the role of CEO at FH Inc., the decision to walk away from what I was doing to be home has been solidified.  Solidified by the following:

  • Witnessing that last moment of warm peace as I wake my younger children up to get ready
  • That last kiss from my son as he gets on the bus, and the subsequent sadness that I just know they're going to end soon
  • Fixing my daughter's glasses every morning as they sit crooked on her little face
  • Verbally running them through their days to ensure they're as prepared and confident as they can be
  • Watching them play tag as they wait for their bus (and seeing my child include and invite the children on the bus whom haven't been kind to him)
  • Standing in the morning chill and listening to their shrieks of delight as they steal that final moment of play as the bus rounds the corner
  • Those five extra hugs I've missed out on since I've left before them
  • The weird and captivating glimpse into my brilliant daughter's mind as she tells me about her thoughts over breakfast 
  • Seeing their messy bed hair and their complete and utter lack of self-consciousness over it
  • The quirky outfits my youngest puts together
  • The look on their faces when I tell them how amazing they are
    • That quiet giggle
    • That quick tush-squoosh
    • That sweet kiss
    • That warm hug
When I was denied the day off, it was more than a day off that someone tried to tell me I wasn't entitled to have.  It was all the things above I felt in that moment being taken from me.  And I decided right then and there that I wasn't going to accept that.  As every item I listed above will be gone before I know it.  They'll be memories; and it'll be hard to have memories of what didn't happen.

So, this morning; the day I couldn't have off - I sit. Drink my coffee.  And marvel over all the tiny moments that have taken my breath away every day for the past five days.  I brush the tear that sneaked out [if you tell anyone...I'll throat punch you] away and revel in gratitude knowing I've got every single one because someone told me, "No." and I didn't accept that answer.