Puppies bring me into the present moment. They exude full happiness all the way from their wet kisses down to their long swinging tails. To take in this positive force vacates the space of previous negative thinking. I’ve witnessed this transformative power affect others in our household. My husband returned from the airport after several long days on a business trip. He came in looking exhausted, still wearing his work clothes and work face. But the moment after setting down his carryon bag, he broke into smiles and a high pitched voice as the puppies danced excitedly at his feet. While he still felt tired from jet lag and travel, the warm welcome from his four-legged babies sped up the transition into a more relaxed state of mind. Of course he was also happy to be greeted by me with a smile and a kiss.
Koda and Summer came along in my life at just the right time. Raising four children has been a rollercoaster ride with many ups and downs, thrilling, fun and sometimes scary about what was around the next corner. I am admittedly a protective GrizzlyBearMa, who constantly thinks about her cubs, is content when they are, and worries when they are not. I have had to work hard to calm my anxious thoughts about what ifs and what can I do to help. Whether is was worrying about my oldest son back in third grade struggling to focus in the classroom, or my daughter being upset with me as her Brownie Leader (because of the attention I paid to the other first graders in her troop). If my children had a struggle with something, it was mine as well. I was relentless in my pursuit to find solutions and prevent any hardships for them. I was the ultimate helicopter mom, someone forgot their homework at home in the printer? I rushed it down to the high school. Lunch sack left on the counter? Delivered within the hour. Whenever my kids need me, I am there. In fact I am solving their problems without them even asking for my help. Either by reading guide books for advice, researching on the internet, or even calling into the Doctor show on Sirius radio (for the record I have been on air three times with questions).
I take my job as Mama Bear seriously, sometimes it can even be too much. Many professionals have said that this kind of soft, keep-from-any-hardships-if-at-all-possible, kind of parenting can make it more difficult for the children as adults. Great. So then I start to worry about their present well-being and what the future holds for them. If I sound a bit crazy, I am. I’m crazy about my family. Sometimes the Mama Bear inside of me goes overboard. That’s where the timing of these puppies is so right.
These days there are plenty of concerns cycling through my head: how my son and daughter out in the work force, are they thriving and adjusting well to life after college? My son approaching his senior year in college, is he preparing for what is ahead, is he savoring his days as a student and as an athlete (he plays football)? And lastly, my baby boy, who is starting his last year of high school, where will he be at this time next year? Will he be ready?
Like the rocking chair that moves back and forth repeatedly but gets nowhere, my worrying does not move me forward. Luckily, I am broken out of this anxious-mother-momentum by the presence of these two furry black puppies. They beckon me to the here and now, insisting on my attention. Their cold noses and lapping tongues on my chin, wanting me to love them right now. I envelope these bundles of soft fur and smile, forgetting what it is that I was worrying about a minute before. “I am here! Koda and Summer!”