On this Mother’s Day, I got to thinking about two things: how great my mom is, and another way having Spriggan is like having a human child.
First, I imagine that many people think their mom is the greatest one in the world, and I won’t argue with that. That’s how it should be. My mom has supported me physically, emotionally, financially… all the time doing so as if ‘that’s just what one does for a child’ and never me making me feel like it was burdensome or frustrating. But while she’s not totally unique in that regard, it’s by no means the default setting for mothers, so I feel profoundly grateful to have a mother who loves me so strongly and so… effortlessly… and with such a casual, matter-of-fact, “Of course I love you; you’re my daughter” air about her that makes me feel very secure indeed.
The above picture was taken at my and Mike’s wedding by our wonderful friend Robin, who jumped in to document the day after discovering that I had arranged no photographer whatsoever. (Side note: I had arranged basically nothing for my wedding and consider myself very lucky that I have such understanding friends and family, particularly my two sisters-in-law [sister’s partner and husband’s sister], who really stepped up to make sure the wedding actually happened.) I really like the fact that this photo includes three generations of women — or four, really, if you include the fact that it was taken at my sister’s house at my wedding — and that it is such a happy example of the love in my family. My mom lost her mother pretty soon after this was taken, and I’m grateful my grandmother was able to bless our union with her presence.
You’ll also remember that Mom is a superb grandmother, showering gifts upon my puppy, all of which have wound up being favorites of Spriggan’s. She probably does the same for my nieces, too… 😉
Anyway, she’s spectacular. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.
My thoughts about Spriggan belong more in a Father’s Day post, I suppose, but I’ll surely forget by then. Way in which having Spriggan is like having a human child, number 18 (maybe): she loves both her parents, but there’s definitely a ‘fun’ parent and a ‘business’ parent.
Mike is the ‘fun’ one.
Which is not to say that she doesn’t have fun with me, but she knows that Mike is much less likely to make her stop jumping on him or brush her teeth or lock her in her crate while she eats or fish around in her mouth for the most recent hairball she’s picked up and is trying desperately to swallow. He also has a better lap on which to lounge and sleep, which strikes me as an anatomical anomaly, as my lap has a good deal more padding… but he just seems to know how to structure a lap, and I, apparently, do not.
When he gets home, she leaps for him, buzzing with excitement. (I mean that literally. She wags her tail and thusly her whole body so emphatically that it feels like I’m holding a 10-lb. bumblebee.) Once he’s put his stuff down and is ready to be mobbed, she hurls herself into his arms, collapsing backwards into him and rubbing her head under his chin and over his neck in what I assume is an attempt to burrow into him just to be closer.
And the thing that made me think of this as a ‘like a human child’ example is how much Mike loves her back. Mike is not generally the type to wear his emotions on his sleeve… or even on his undershirt. He is what some might call ‘stoic’, and so, unless you know him as I do (and sometimes even so), you’d be surprised at the way he talks to and about Spriggan.
When we first got dogs together, he set some ground rules which took me a little adjustment but which wound up being much healthier for the dogs:
- No dogs on the furniture.
- No begging dogs. (This meant, to me, ‘no human food for dogs’.)
- No licking Mike.
And now, I’m watching him being showered in dachshund kisses and then burying his head in her fur and cooing, “I love the way you smell. You smell so puppy.”
Or, he’ll be in the middle of something totally unrelated and just look over at her and say, “You’re so beautiful. You’re such a perfect dog.”
You can tell, when he gets home, that she genuinely brightens his day. He tells her he missed her while she’s wriggling into his arms. It’s pretty much the sweetest thing ever.
And, of course, I feel it too. Sometimes I honestly think my chest might burst from all the joy and love it’s trying to contain. I find myself struggling to just let her sleep instead of kissing her over and over and over and over and over.
People have been wishing me a Happy Mother’s Day too, and this time, I really feel like I deserve such a greeting.