A"Never" turned into an "OK"
Sometimes a "Never" turns into a "Why did I do that?" I have had quite a few of those in my life and will take some of those to my grave. In my twilight years, I am trying to avoid having to ask that question and spend hours in regret and frustration. Afterall, who wants to use up whatever time one has left in a sea of questions. For me, these last years are all about gaining wisdom and answers. So when "S" started asking me about getting a puppy (about five years ago), I stood firm with my "Never" and recited my top 50 reasons not to own a dog. My biological children know the list well and it begins with the top three 1. It will make a mess that I will have to clean up, 2. It is a big expense, and 3. We are away from the home too often. It ends with number 50: everyone who has a dog complains about having a dog! "S" is reasonable and seemed to understand that I was either a woman who stood by her words, or cranky in my old age and not budging. Thus, she started a dog walking business last year, which seemed to appease and make money at the same time. But then she broke her ankle and Charlie and I made some observations that seemed to escape us for a long time. "S" is being raised by individuals who are not going to take up surfing or rock climbing. We are losing energy by the days and are more her observers and cheerleaders than her partners in risktaking. She is living in a neighborhood where the number one topic is health and not adventure. The nearest friend her age lives about 10 miles away so playdates have to be arranged and are not just a jaunt across the street. Her closest family member lives in MA. Thus "S" is unbelievably imaginative and plays for hours with her dolls or stuffed animals, pretending that they are her playmates. So when her guitar teacher announced that his chiweenie had nine puppies and really wanted "S" to have one, I said a firm "Never." I did not want to add to my regrets, but started to re-examine my rationale everytime we went to a lesson. I decided to hold a family meeting which now consists of a two person dictatorship-Charlie and I! I was self-assured that he would laugh or just walk away, but he said "Yes" without hesitation and the rest is history. We waited three months to discuss the boundaries and prepare for our new, permenent houseguest! Today, "Coco" has lived here for two days! "S" has not stopped holding, or caring for her since the moment we picked her up. She told me that she feels like she is living within her best dream. How can you maintain a "Never" when it is fulfillment of a dream? Now there is a better question?
Garden Ridge, Texas