Hello sweet girl! Right now I am sitting in a cramped airplane seat, on my way to see my friend Anna and meet her new baby in Seattle. And right now you’re at school, not very happy with me about this. I’ve raised you to be a traveler, and you don’t particularly like being left behind. Can’t say I blame you!
The flight is finally giving me time to pen the second part of my monthly letter, one with happier tales. Or perhaps, happier tails.
You’ve always loved animals, and for some time you’ve wanted a dog, but your Daddy and I weren’t ready. Every time you’d come across a dog, you’d bury your face in its fur and say, “I wish I had a dog.” And every time it tugged on my heart a bit. As you’ve grown and become more independent and responsible, a dog began to seem like a reasonable idea.
I told myself that I wouldn’t go looking for a dog, but that if the right one crossed our paths, I might not say no. Then one day last month, a neighbor posted to Facebook about a lost dog that had wandered up to his home. The cute, small black shihtzu had a collar but no tags or microchip.
I figured his owners would find him soon, and I didn’t think any more of it until the neighbor posted again a few days later. Despite his efforts, no one had come forward to claim the dog, and he was taking it to the shelter in a few days if it still had no home. Did anyone want to adopt him?
So we went to meet him. He was quiet and sweet, never barking, never jumping up on us, and content to just hang out. We’d been thinking of possible names all morning, and your Daddy came up with Chance (because he was willing to give the dog just one.) It was a perfect fit for the situation.
We took Chance home, and you just wanted to carry him around like the proud new mama you were. He didn’t seem to mind.
You started drawing pictures of him everywhere – on the dry erase board in the kitchen. In the drawing app on my phone.
Over the next days we took him everywhere with us that we could, and discovered that we had been quite lucky to let this little guy into our lives. He is well mannered, housebroken, and friendly. He loves to go for walks, but when at home is happy to curl up on a pair of shoes and be cute. He even tolerates playing dress up, and makes a heck of a good-looking ewok.
Just a few days after we brought Chance to live with us, we got to take him on his first road trip. We were headed to north Georgia and Cloudland Canyon State Park for a most happy reunion with our buddies from Washington, DC.
You love these boys, Will and Sam, so very much. Though it had been a year since we last saw them, there was no awkwardness or hesitation. The three of you made quite a crew, and the state park was a perfect place to play.
I am admittedly a hovering mom – someone who has a hard time granting you the independence I know you need. But there in the state park, with those boys by your side, I let go a little and let you grow up.
We were staying in a cabin, and there were a series of trails right out our back door. We allowed you three to explore those trails unsupervised (to a certain distance), and I think this was very exciting to you. I worried, as I always do, but I also felt that you kids would watch out for each other. And you did.
We enjoyed several hikes to area waterfalls, and had a wonderful time scrambling over rocks and playing near the river.
We were there Easter morning, and even arranged an Easter egg hunt in the campground.
Then, it was time to say goodbye, with lumps in our throats and promises to get together again soon.
Your month was also filled with Easter fun at home. There was the annual Palm Sunday egg hunt with church buddies, with the trees and bushes of Orleans Square serving as a wonderful hunting ground.
Then you enjoyed the annual egg hunt in Boo’s backyard, but this time with your cousins there to hunt with you.
Sweet girl, we sure do have a lot of good times together. I will miss you terribly over these next few days apart, but look forward to sneaking into your room when I get back late at night, planting kisses on your sleeping head. Until then, know I am thinking of you often, and loving you always.