Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Real Life Learning-I wouldn't have it any other way!

One of the many benefits of having your children at home with you every day, is that they get to experience with you the daily events that make life real. If they were in a classroom all day their experiences would be contrived and scheduled and then graded. Many come out of 12 years of this assembly line eduction with just that, prestamped sameness, cookie cutter predictability and standardized test results.

Real life happens at our house. Sometimes it is the anticipation and preparation of the arrival of a special grandparent. Sometimes it is pulling over to the side of the road to fix a flat tire or handle another car problem. And sometimes our busy days stop completely in order to deal with a very painful event.

We buried our sweet little dog in the back yard yesterday. She had many problems and she was getting old. At 15 she had daily "accidents" and her little heart was so weak the blood was not getting to her lungs so she coughed a lot, gasping for breath. She had several tumors and sometimes bled from the rear area. The decision had to be made but it was just so hard to make it.

Yesterday had to be the day and I announced it to my teenage boys, "Go dig a hole." They knew what I meant. The tears flowed (mostly me) and I couldn't stop for a couple of hours. It was a painful day, getting those few preparations done. We ran a few errands on the way hoping to suspend the decision, I think. Last on the list was the Vet's office. We pulled in. I gathered myself together and approached the desk.

"Can I help you?"
"Yes," I squeaked. "We are here to have our dog euthanized."

What a cold word.

I did not make it past much more than that, searching the form I was to fill out through the tears pouring on the paper and smudging the ink. My boys were beside me with their arms around my shoulder, comforting ME! We must have been a sight! The lady in the back finally came to gently take her away and we said our brief goodbye's. They were kind and compassionate and I appreciated that. We were instructed to wait around the side door and we stood in the cold in muted silence fighting tears and wondering when it would be over. They finally came out with a box and her favorite down blanket covering her. She always liked to be covered up. The tears flowed again and we drove home and buried her beside the shed.

We were together the whole day through the pain, tears and the sadness and I would not have had it any other way. My two son's gentleness and tenderness was not only a support for me but they handled their grief in a manly dignified manner, important for them as well. It had to be done; they knew that, and we went through it together. We will have a few days of quiet I know, because grief must have it's time.

All of these real life events make up who our children are and will be in their future. Let's not ever separate our children from real life, in whatever form it may take-for the benefit of all of us.

Beanie, (Beanie Baby) January 26th, 1994 - January 8th, 2008
We miss you, Beanie