Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Puppy Love

The drive home

Meeting the neighbors

Learning the ropes

Millie has arrived! She's nestled in my lap as I type this, alternately sleeping and chewing at the zipper of my fleece jacket. She chews on everything. She has kibble-breath. Until we blocked the entrance, she treated our computer room as her own private toilet. And I'm completely in love with her.

I had no idea it would take so much to ready myself for a puppy. I'm not talking about money (four digits and counting), or trips to the pet supply store (six), or long drives to visit with her at the breeder's house (four), or hours pouring over puppy care and training manuals (too many to count), or days spent rearranging furniture to accommodate her presence in the house (two), or hours of work and away-from-home play cleared from my schedule in anticipation of her needs.

For years I've had a space reserved in my heart for all of these exertions, but that space was cluttered with baby dreams. In order to make room for Millie, I had to excavate some mighty disappointments.

Sometimes it feels like I'm a one-track record, going on and on about my grief for all my lost babies, but then, as if passing by a mirror, I catch a glimpse of what I've been through and I'm reminded that it's not insignificant. Anyone reading this who has suffered or is currently suffering such a loss, I hope you are surrounded by people who recognize this fact and honor your feelings. And I wish you many adorable puppies.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


In honor of our anniversary, J~ and I spent a long weekend on Cape Cod, biking, window shopping, hiking the sand dunes, eating big decadent meals, and reminiscing about our early days as a couple. What a strange time that was for us, both reeling from our suddenly broken marriages, thrilled and nervous about the bond quickly forming between us.

The three years since we married are marked with so many milestones, not the least of which was made plain to me this weekend: somewhere along the line, this crazy new romance became a solid partnership. There have been down times of course, our failed pregnancies not the least of them. But the hardships we've faced together are framed by a shared tenderness, which turns them, to a certain degree, into treasured memories.

As I settle into the likelihood that I will not have children of my own, I accept that there will always be a certain amount of sadness in the picture for me. But I also see how that sadness has mellowed over the years. Until menopause – as long as there's hope – there will be vulnerability, but perhaps one day I'll carry only tiny scars where once there was an open wound.

Scanning my inner horizons, I see another emotional trauma yet unhealed, that of my first marriage's end. Time has helped, but I have not managed to close that wound. Perhaps this also has to do with hope, though I'm not sure what I'm hoping for. I certainly wouldn't trade what I have now for a return to that relationship, though it was not without its own beauty, and I appreciate the role it played in my life.

One thing is becoming more and more certain to me with every passing year: Life is short. Too short. It's a tragedy for all of us. The more I accept this, the more apparent it becomes that I can only do my best, assume everyone else is doing their best, grieve the disappointments as they arise but get back to appreciation of the fleeting present moment as quickly as possible. Because life is also pretty darn great.