I am ridiculously task-oriented. I like to make things happen. I love efficiency and logistics and the feeling of accomplishing things. So God gave me a toddler. And a dog. And a slow-moving husband, but that’s another story for another day. I spend my days with the toddler and the dog, and sometimes I swear they are slowing me down on purpose!
Today I had goals. I had an agenda for myself that involved accomplishing writing for several projects and catching up on coursework during the three-hour window that Henry’s afternoon nap typically affords me. He is a super-busy boy and there is no such thing, for me, as working at the computer while he quietly colours or does puzzles in the other room. If he’s quiet, there’s trouble. So the naptime is my only time to accomplish things.
Henry went down for his nap but did not stay down for his nap. My plans were shot. But it was a beautiful, warm, sunny day and I thought perhaps the boy and the dog and I could go for a quick walk to shake all the crazies out, and then maybe I could (gasp) settle him down with the ipad and a construction show for an hour or so.
Here’s the thing about little boys and little dogs. There is no quick walk. Ever. There are no straight lines and no short-cuts. And there is definitely no steady pace. The two of them, attached together by a leash, are a circus act – a comedy of errors. So I dragged them up the hill to the rail trail and set them free.
Here's the frustratingly beautiful thing about little boys and little dogs. There is no destination for them. The journey itself is always the destination. As Tolkien said, “not all who wander are lost”. Little boys and little dogs are not trying to get anywhere; they are wandering aimlessly. And therein lies the adventure. This afternoon, as the sun shone down on us, those boys engaged in all kinds of shenanigans. There was sniffing and rolling and sliding and splashing and chasing and way too much eating of dirt. I wish I could say that it was just Murphy who was partaking in those activities, but no - Henry went full-on dog this afternoon. But they played with such wild abandon that I envied them. I had already let go of my agenda, and any hopes of keeping either of them clean…. but I still couldn’t possibly let go enough to have as much fun as they were having.
Henry was so filled with delight at being able to run wild and free in the fresh air that he regularly ran at me, flinging his filthy self against me and yelling “I LOVE YOU!!!!” Murphy too, could not resist the urge to jump up on me, tail wagging and tongue flopping, ensuring that I was just as mud-covered as the two of them were. They were ridiculously happy and ridiculously muddy. As we trudged home, we made plans to go out shopping for some rubber boots for Henry and for me so we can return to the glorious rail trail and jump in more puddles.
Once home, Henry played in the back yard while I hosed Murphy down in the shower. Then Henry came in and I stripped him down in the kitchen sink. Our coats and pants and socks went straight into the washing machine and we settled down onto the couch for a cuddle and a story.
I didn’t accomplish much today, except all the most important things. These two always remind me of how blessed I am, to have the freedom to spend these days with them, in the puddles and the sunshine.
Kari Raymer Bishop
Lover of Jesus, cheeses and tropical breezes... seeking balance in life, even as I embrace new challenges and chase new dreams. I am wife, mother, daughter and friend, as well as teacher, entrepreneur, activist, writer, beekeeper and hostess. Come along on the journey through my long-awaited midlife crisis!