Sunday, March 25, 2012

A little behind

I've never been on on the edge of newness.  I'm hardly ever the first of my friends to hear about something, unless it's bizarre crap you can find on the internet....then I'm like a freaking explorer discovering the new world.

I can't think of the last time I read a bestseller when it was first on the list.  I almost never see movies in the theater unless we're talking about children's movies.

I didn't get through The Help until right before the movie was released on DVD.

I forced my son to wait to see the Harry Potter movies until we could read the books.  We read the first four as a family, he finished the series, and I'm still halfway through the fifth.  I've been halfway through the fifth for a while now.

I watched Twilight for the first time a few months ago, and have yet to see the other movies.  The books are somewhere in the house, but I haven't read them.

Even my husband is one-upping me these days.  He's already finished all three books in the Hunger Games series, and I haven't started them.

I like to hang back a while, wait for the hype to die down.

Wink, wink.

I did just watch a movie that I should have seen a long time ago.  I'm home by myself sick with a stomach virus, Tom took the kids the car show.  This is a movie I'd been warned about plenty, cautioned by those who know me.  I didn't read the books either for the same reason.

I knew I'd be a mess if I did.

And I was.  Still am, actually.

I just watched Marley & Me. 

It could have just as well been titled Maddie & Me.
My first baby
It could have been the story of us, right down to the missed miscarriage.  We didn't get our puppy until after I lost the baby, though.

We became parents the first time long before the human babies showed up.

It was like watching a home movie, from the days of trying to train a crazy puppy to the day the first baby came home and the animal who was the center of the universe became "just the dog".

I remember the frustrations of having a house full of babies, a dog that was into everything, a husband that was trying to be supportive but not really knowing how.  The depression.  The struggles with choosing to stay home.

The trusting my gut that moving cross country was the best decision for our family, packing up everything and starting over.

And, every so often, cleaning up the mess when the dog got into the trash.  Or pooped somewhere they weren't supposed to.  Or got out.

I remember the day I got the phone call when Maddie got hurt.  The realization that one day, we'd lose her.  And then we did last Spring, right after my brother had to put down Buddy.  Our other dog, Jake, is aging and arthritic.  I can't even begin to think about what will happen when we lose him too.

I knew there was a reason I was refusing to watch this movie.

Dogs aren't just dogs, at least not around here.  They aren't even just a part of the family.  I'd argue that they are the soul of it, the representation of what we all wish our relationships were really like.  What we should strive for.  Who we should aspire to be.

They are the only ones that are always happy to see you.  They don't care if we're sick or broke or cranky.  They don't care if we haven't made the lives we thought we would.  They are the only ones that never waver in their loyalty.  They always, always believe in us.  They would lay down their lives without question for us.  They are the only ones that love you unconditionally until the day they die.

I'm gonna go hug my Jake.  Though he drives me crazy at times, he's a good boy.

They all are.

My goal in life is to be as good of a 
person as my dog already thinks I am.  

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