Goodbye Octagon

“We are going to need a bigger bowl,” I said to myself this morning. The small sized food and water bowls seemed perfect a month ago. The food ones are still just right for the amount the pups eat at a meal. It’s the water bowls that need to be bigger. Koda and Summer gulp up the water, taking away much of the contents with them dripping from their beards. I had read this about Aussiedoodles, that they tend to be wet chinned quite often. Just the same, I think a larger water bowl will help.

This makes me sad to be changing out things already. It’s happening too fast, this growing out of things! Remember the six-sided octagon that was so useful in the early days? It’s collapsed and in the garage. They were simply too large for it. We opted instead to gate off the doors from the kitchen and family room to the rest of the house. This allowed for much more space to romp around and be a part of our daily lives. Of course any expansion of the perimeter needs to be met with caution. An example of this would be what happened with me across the room at the kitchen sink. Somehow the cord to Alexa got chewed, it only took five seconds for those teeth to do it. Now no Dixie Chicks (for me), Florida Georgia Line (for PapaBear), or classical music at bedtime. I keep forgetting and calling out her name, “Alexa, add eggs to the grocery list. Alexa? Damn it!”

I miss the octagon. It reminds me of when our children outgrew things. Favorite onesies were suddenly unable to snap closed. The chubby legs of the infant dangling over the infant carseat, then deciding if they were ready to move to a larger one (oh but the carrying one is so great for naps anywhere). With four children we did not think too much about outgrowing things, as we saved everything for the possibility of needing it again for another child. That is probably what made all the moments of “using for the last time” hardest with our youngest baby.

My husband has shared with me that the moment that stands out so clearly in his mind was when he took apart the crib for the last time. The dark cherrywood piece of furniture had been assembled and disassembled many times through the years, in several different homes, in various cities and states. Each one of our babies started their time in our family in the cozy safe space of those ornate wood rails. They would begin swaddled like a burrito sleeping soundly against a wedge (something that was recommended to keep them in the perfect breathing position). In a matter of time, they outgrew the wedge and slept under a light blanket with arms sprawled open. I can remember hearing them on the baby monitor and coming in to find them awake, most of the time crying to be picked up, fed and changed. At some point they got their strength to pull themselves up holding the top rail. Our middle son used to grab the vertical rails and shake back and forth (gorilla in a cage). Shake, shake, shake. Silence. Shake, shake, shake. We would look at each other and laugh, “He’s up.”

Papabear used his tools to disassemble the crib for the final time. I do not know exactly what went on in his mind and heart, I was busy somewhere else in the house with the four kids. But I know the feeling of the end of a stage, it’s a goodbye to time that will not come back again. Memories remain, new memories to be made ahead. I will buy a larger water bowl or two. Before I do, let me first say goodbye to the six-sided enclosure that safely housed our tiny puppies with their toys. Goodbye six-sided octagon.

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