When I heard all 15 of our family members were coming for Christmas, I was hot on the idea. I donned my red holiday collar and did my best tail-wagging when each arrived.
But now that we’re together, I’m beginning to cool on the whole thing. Actually I lost my cool entirely this morning when two of the babies used me as a climbing wall. I erupted with a growl that surprised even me, and although I didn’t hurt anyone, I was soundly reprimanded.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the little ones. Mealtimes are extremely rewarding with babies on the guest list. I plant myself near their three high chairs and patiently wait for droppings. As soon as eating begins, rich bounty comes my way.
But the life Midge and I normally have has gone out the window, partly because of the crowd under our roof but partly because we’re literally getting new windows installed this week. That’s right. The old windows are being pried out (with loud crow bars and electronic saws) and new ones are being put in (with loud banging and electronic hammers).
Naps are interrupted and the house gets cold, but Midge told me it’s the best Christmas present she could receive this year. I know the old windows have been cloudy and drafty, but the main reason she’s so hot on new ones is that Pidge was the one who gave them to her. Since he’s been gone for over a year, this gift is extra special.
During these days of way too much noise and activity, I’ve done my best to be adorable and accommodating, but one dog can only do so much. And it’s not like my life hasn’t been altered, too. Daily walks to the beach with Midge have disappeared, and Nelson takes me now. I’m just glad he’s thinking of my needs, because Midge is paying far more attention to the little people than to me.
I spend much of my day looking for her and sometimes can’t find her at all. Someone else is sleeping in her bedroom, and other people are driving her car.
Today the kids all went sledding. These are young children who’ve never done it before, three from England and two from Florida. Because our street is covered with icy snow, the sleds flew along at quite a clip, giving the kids a thrill and prompting parental videos. I love the cold and warmed up to the sliding fun, running alongside. But when I tried to grab the sleds between my teeth, I got yelled at.
Sometimes I wish I wasn’t the favorite animal of two toddlers, two crawlers and one hair-twister. But then there’s tonight when my heart grew so warm, it melted. Skylar was making the rounds to say good night and stopped to talk to me. Although I was lying down (worn out from a day of trying to avoid babies), she got down on her tummy, nose-to-nose with me, and lovingly said, “Good night, Jackie. You’re a very good boy.”
Did I mention I was really hot on the idea of having our whole family together this Christmas?
“Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:7)