As some of you may already know, I've had a couple of changes in my life recently. They aren't huge changes, but they have taught me a lot about myself and life in general. I love when I figure out something big without even trying to, so this has been great for me.
First, I began babysitting my friends darling baby girl three days a week. She was three months old when I began watching her. Now let me remind you in case you don't know or you've forgotten, babies are a lot of work. It's not back breaking work, but a three month old needs you for EVERYTHING....all the time. On top of that, they require you to schedule your life around them. If you're one of those people who thinks that life goes on as normal with a newborn, I've got news for you. YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG! The point is that it's a big commitment.
I love babies and I pride myself on being somewhat of a "baby whisperer", so I totally volunteered myself for the job. I knew I would adore cuddling a baby at first, but I wondered like all people do, if taking this on would get old fast. Well, the verdict is in and I am loving it. I get an intense baby fix, and yet my weekends are free and I get to sleep all night without worrying about those pesky 2 a.m. feedings. It's like I'm a grandma at age 34, minus all the horrid circumstances that would cause someone to become a grandma at age 34. Plus the baby is adorable, did I mention that?
The second change is much more recent. We got a dog, a Chihuahua to be specific. Now I would never have seen a tiny lap dog in my future, but this particular dog just called to me. I saw her picture and one minute of video footage of her on a dog rescue website and I just knew that this dog was meant to be with me. I made the critical idiot mother error by showing the video and picture of the dog to my seven year old daughter before even discussing it with my husband. My husband and I weren't even thinking about getting a dog the day I found my dog online. I can't even figure out why I was looking at that website. It was meant to be is all I can say.
My poor kids have lots of weird allergies so I called the dogs foster mom and asked her if we could come see the Chihuahua and possibly take her home for a trial period. I would not have even considered adopting the dog without that option. The foster mom thought it was a great idea and we drove down to her house to meet the dog. My husband is very much a cat guy (he grew up with cats), but he agreed to meet the dog. When we first saw her, it was love at first sight. She is so delicate and darling and very calm. We let the kids play with her for about twenty minutes and everything was going really well. Dave took a quick work related phone call, and when he was done, he shocked me by saying to the foster mom, "So I guess we'll be taking her home for a trial period. Is that still okay with you?" I was stunned!!! I could not believe he wasn't putting the brakes on this whole deal. With that, I grabbed my check, filled it out to the rescue organization and we all hopped in the truck and left.
By the time we got home the dog was named Minnie and we'd already stopped at the store to buy her a kennel and supplies. The kids love her and I do too. She came to us house trained and so far so good. We've had a few problems with her outsmarting the kennel and her complete resistance to being leashed on our walks, but other than that she does so well with our family. She's even become my purse dog. She loves it! Dave honestly wishes she were a cat for convenience reasons. Cat's don't have to be let out to pee and they don't seem sad when you leave. Dogs can be a pain in the butt for sure, but we're getting used to it.
Both the dog and the baby have taught me something very basic and very important. The point of life isn't to make things as easy as possible for yourself. A life without any bother is a dull life. I actually like the bother of it all, it's very fulfilling. I like waking the dog around the block two minutes after I wake up in the morning. I love soothing and snuggling a crying, tired baby. I'm good at it and I have a confidence in myself that I wish I had when I first became a mother. This new experience has shown me how far I've come. With my first baby, I was a paranoid, nervous wreck. I didn't realize it at the time, but in hind sight I see that I was so tightly wound. You can't calm and soothe a baby when you're giving of that anxious energy. Fast forward seven years and I know with absolute certainty that I really am an excellent care giver. I thrive on it. I am so glad that I opened myself up to these opportunities. Yesterday morning my daughters and I took the dog on a walk and I carried the baby in the baby Bjorn carrier. Cheesy as it sounds, my heart was overflowing with joy. It's not a burden at all. There was no place else I would have rather been. Now that is a huge life lesson.