We all understand that our experiences are what make us; who we are today is the sum total of every choice, action and lesson. And today that is all the more poignant as I move into a new phase of learning.
This is one of my favorite photos of two of the best teachers I have had over the past 13 years.
We met Bailey a few short weeks after we moved back to America (July 2004) and she fit into the family immediately. She loved each of us in the way we most needed and was always ready with a wag and a snuggle. She and I walked together most days and I learned that there are times when you need to do something for someone else, even if you don’t feel like it (e.g. walking when it’s lashing rain and chilly out). She was afraid of her own shadow and unwilling to roam at the dog park and I learned to accept all her little quirks. And as she aged, I learned to accept her frailties and give her what she needed even as I missed our walks and her joyful bounce.
We said goodbye July 2015 and I miss her.
Jack has his own little quirks; he barks at a car driving past at the end of the road, he runs sideways and dislikes new experiences. Over the past 8 years he has barked his way into our hearts. He is loyal to a fault, loves to kiss and happily hangs out with the chickens whenever we go into the pasture. I have learned that even grumpy can love deeply, that scruffy does not prevent the inside from spilling out and spraying love everywhere.
This past week, we met a new friend – a tiny bundle of softness and playful energy and already she is teaching me, reminding me of lessons I learned when our kidlets were small; babies need constant attention, wake you up several times each night, and steal your heart the moment you meet them. I am sure over time there will be much more studying for me to do with Maggie.
For now, I am grateful to Bailey, happy to watch Jack waddle around and open to a long future with my new pal.
What lessons have you learned from unexpected teachers?