Monday, November 30, 2009

Status Quo

The kids are doing their homework at the kitchen table. Leftover turkey and stuffing are slated for our dinner tonight. Patrick's returned to college, studying (hopefully) for upcoming finals scheduled to take place next week. I started doing a little Christmas shopping today. Things are quickly retuning to normal; the status quo emerges once again, following the happy chaos we enjoyed during Thanksgiving while visiting our families and staying up later than usual to chat.

Just as things are returning to normal again, I find myself facing another change in the usual status quo. For almost two decades now, I've refused to purchase a dog for my pleading children. I mean, really: dealing with dog-chewed shoes? Training it to go outdoors during countless sub-freezing nights just so that it can urinate? No thanks!

We all know that puppies can be a challenge. I had a dog when I was a child, a fact that my kids constantly reminded me of, prior to my relenting to getting a dog in the first place. I also remember my mom doing most of the work back then. My mother typically let the dog outside, cleaned up after her, and fed her. Day after day.

A few months ago, I noticed my youngest, Caroline, "walking" her dog - a stuffed animal - outside on a leash. Peering through the living room window, I watched, open-mouthed, as Caroline repeatedly stroked it and talked to it. She didn't see me. For the first time, my eyes fell to the floor as reality struck me: my children have never had the pleasure of taking care of a dog, walking it, and experiencing the unconditional love that exudes - day after day - from most canines to their human friends.

The girls are just thrilled that Christmas is around the corner, and a puppy's not only on their wish list, but she'll be arriving this Thursday, three days from now. A ten-week-old Havanese puppy will become our newest family member. Soon, the status quo will be disrupted.

Why did I give in to my children's whining and pleading this time around? This time it just felt right. I've no other explanation, really. I just hope I'm not making a mistake. Even though my daughters have drafted and signed a "contract" that states that they will be in charge of the dog's care, I am realistic. Soon I'll be the one who takes the dog outside in the middle of the night while the girls are sound asleep. I'll be the person in charge of her meals, and I'll be cleaning up the mess while my daughters are at school.

What about my coveted status quo? In my opinion, maintaining the status quo is very much overrated. And when you stop and think about it, the status quo is really only as important as you demand it to be. The girls will be speechless when they see the puppy. Sure, the status quo will be altered in our home, but hopefully, it'll be for the better. Day after day.


WhiteStone said...

I had never heard of the Havanese and googled. So cute! Makes me wishful!!!!

WhiteStone said...

Hi, Karen, I'm typing a second comments don't seem to go through. Love the Havanese type dog! Cute!

Sara Williams said...

I believe that animals are an important part of a childs life. I have always been surrounded by animals and my business is about dogs.

My son is autistic and having dogs has really helped him develop. He also has his own dwarf hamster and it has taught him patience and respect.

Puppies ARE hard work but remember to focus on the fact that it doesnt last forever! As for chewing things well my kids learned to keep their toys safe the hard way!

Good luck with your new girl and remember to post about her