I don’t doubt that my kids are the most important thing I have done with my life. But, what I have come to terms with is that when I am old and gray they will leave me to start their own journey and I will be left with my dog.
Ziva won’t be that dog that makes it to see my graying years but she will be there to see me through those first tentative years of life with teenagers, when those three girls dip their toes into the waters of independence.
She will sit with me on the night Sid ventures out for the first time with friends unaccompanied by an adult. No doubt she will let me stroke her ears and kiss her nose as I stare down the door waiting for it to open and my first baby to return home.
She will join me on early morning walks as I fret over the growth pattern of my youngest. Are we spoiling her too much?
She will exhale deeply with us when Audrey returns home from another gymnastics meet full of medals but minus the injuries.
She will survive the slamming of doors, the loud music and the repeated attempts to coax sullen girls from rooms.
She will listen to thousands of excuses for how she ate their homework, stole the shirt mom wanted them to wear or chewed through one of their new heels.
She will stand next to me while I make every meal; will dance with me late at night to the Indigo Girls and will comfort me when one of those beautiful little girls turned teenager tells me she hates me.
I read an article once that said dog owners who pet their animals first thing in the morning and the minute they walked in the door at night had significantly lower stress levels. No doubt there will be hundreds of minutes spent petting her over the next 5 years as she helps me to survive what may prove to be the most stressful years of parenting.
No she won’t be the best thing I have done with my life but she will make my life better.
Ziva I owe you. Thanks for hanging out with me.