Things have Changed– for Good

I’m anxiously waiting for my coffee to finish brewing (back to Guatemala Antigua in the bialetti), so I can sip a cuppa and write to you all for a little while.  We’re finally done with Feb. break and trying to get things “back to normal”– though it’s clear by now that the addition of Guster to our family means normal has just changed for good.  I pause as I look back at how I phrased that– by ‘for good’ I meant permanently… but let me ask myself if I also meant it as in “for the better”… hmmm.

I won’t say it’s been easy.  For two weeks we’ve been confiscating chewed up things and trying to make sure nothing too important gets eaten.  We’ve been playing watchdog to minimize accidents in the house.  I’ve been constantly supervising kid/dog interactions just to be sure Gus’ sweet nature is really as sweet as it seems (so far, so good).  I’ve been bundling into whatever winter clothes are closest to hand at 5:30am when it’s time for that first walk…

In fact, one indication of just how upside down we’ve been is that I’ve taken to routinely wearing the ugliest stocking cap in the world every time I leave the house.  Now, you all know I’m not overly conscientious about my appearance.  No big deal to go days without wearing makeup, or even to drive the big kids to school with bedhead.  But I’m not the stocking hat type.  They tend to slide up and try to pop off of my bowling ball-shaped head– leaving me looking like I have a pointy, empty sock flapping around on top of my hat.  So the hat itself is a stretch.  But add to that the color– a mustard yellow that does all the wrong things for my skin coloring.  Every last pretense of style is gone… I just want to be warm when we go on those long walks!  And this hat, this ten-year-old hat that Clay used to wear while shoveling snow?  It’s warm!

But I digress.  I think I was asking myself, basically, if I think Gus has changed our family life for the better.  We’ve established that it hasn’t been easy.  On the other hand, we have the satisfaction of having, finally, kept our promise to Will and Chloe.  The kids will grow up knowing what it’s like to love and take care of a pet.   We have this sweet creature who wants to climb into our laps anytime we come down to his level– this big snugglebaby of a hound-dog!  We have endless entertainment when he gets playful and ties himself into a pretzel in pursuit of his stuffed bear (whom I’m naming Miracle because I can’t believe he has survived for 2 whole weeks!).  We’ve got a handsome guy who proudly trots along beside us on walks– when he’s not nosing the ground for squirrels and coons– and politely meets most passing dogs with a friendly sniff.  I’ve got someone to get my butt out of bed and on a seaside walk every morning at the crack of dawn (THAT’s a mixed blessing if ever there was such a thing!).

Yeah.  I think I meant “for good” in both senses of the word.

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