the nest

the nest

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

keep breathing...

What a few weeks it has been...  Puppy drama, teenage girl drama, and then crazy Boston Marathon Drama.  Add a trip to Virginia Beach with the EHS Music Department and prepping for the Music Together Annual Conference and I am all over the place.  Need to focus.

We sadly brought Luther back to his birth home and are hoping to bring home a new puppy from the Berkshire's Mother's Day weekend.  Trying to keep my excitement in check as we've done this before.
I miss my sweet puppy and hope that he is loved and cared for regardless of how short his life will be.  I still feel some guilt that we made the decision we did, but I just know in my heart it was the right one.

Such relief when the chaos in Boston was over.  With a bus full of teenagers and chaperones all checking their "devices" trying to keep up on the news, it was nice to be able to breathe a little easier knowing it was over. For now.

Emotions have been everywhere ~ With so much sadness and fear, it was such a delight to be with the  students from EHS as they performed and enjoyed each others company.  It was almost as much fun watching them at Motor World and Busch Gardens as it was watching them sing and play.  If you ever think your teenager is too grown up, just watch them at "play" and you'll see glimpses of the young child that is still inside.  It's wonderful!

Such pride was felt by us all when they won the "Esprit de Corp" award ~ this recognizes the spirit and  integrity of a school OUTSIDE of performance.  The Ellington community should be immensely proud of how we were represented by our students.

Transitioning from last weekend to this weekend has been a challenge ~ lots of laundry and bookkeeping to get caught up on, forms to sign, carpools to drive.  It's all worth it though~ the Music Together Annual Conference is around the corner and it is sure to be a memorable one.  I will tell you all about it, but now I have to go teach, prep for a session I'm co-leading, pack, and get my nails done!  Time's a wasting!  Princeton here I come!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

sad news...

"Look for the helpers" is what Mr. Rogers said.  I keep seeing that quote all over the internet and I keep trying to remember it.  He was a very wise man.  I like to think that I am often a "helper," but right now I'm looking to my helpers.
In the midst of the horror and sadness around the tragic events in Boston yesterday, our family was hoping that an EKG done on our sweet puppy Luther would give us good news.  This morning, not only did it not give us good news, it was worse than our vet had anticipated.
At a vet check on Friday, a heart murmur was detected.  It was significant enough that we decided to go ahead with the EKG.  She suspected something called a PDA.  Probably expensive, but repairable and with an excellent success rate.
What it actually ended up being was something called a Tricuspid Dysplasia.  A congenital heart defect that is not fixable.  To sum it up, Luther is likely to have a very short life ending in heart failure.  His poor heart is already enlarged and we are so very sad.
Dr. Brown is a helper.  She is kind and empathetic and I know she feels so very badly about the difficult decision we have to make.  Alis is a new friend who brought Luther to us and has been available over the last several days to talk and process the whole sad situation.
Alicia and Jessica and my sisters have all been sympathetic ears for me.  I don't know what I would do without so many sweet helpers.

What we want is a helper to tell us what to do, even though I know what we have to do.  Most likely, Luther will return to the farm he was born on to be cared for until his heart gives out.  We will bring home a different puppy.  This is the logical choice.  We've only had him for a week, and expected a healthy puppy, not one with a heart defect and a life expectancy of a few months to at the very most 3 years.  We cannot take on the cost, both financial and emotional, of caring for him as he dies.
We have been overwhelmed by how quickly we have fallen in love with this sweet boy.  The idea of letting him go makes my stomach sick.
The idea of taking on the care of a sick puppy and watching him die when I need to be a helper to my children as they face so many challenges makes me feel worse.  I don't have it in me to care for him, but letting him go seems heartless.  We thought a puppy would bring some joy after a difficult few months, but the joy has been too short.
I want a helper to tell me how I make this better.  I know I can't.

Monday, April 15, 2013

keep them safe...

Once again, our world has been shaken.  A day of joy and fun in Boston will forever be tarnished by some sick person's actions.  My stomach hurts and I'm on the verge of tears for what seems like the millionth time in the last 6 months.

Just when I think that I'm adjusting to the idea of sending my children out into the world, I'm reminded what a frightening and unpredictable world we live in.  This weekend I had no fears when Katy asked to go spend the first day of her Spring Break in Northampton, MA with some friends.  Northampton is about an hour away.  After the events of the day, I had a hard time letting her go to the mall with friends tonight.  The mall is 20 minutes away.

I know that I cannot keep them safe.  Horrible things happen and I cannot control who they happen to.  I don't believe anyone, even God, controls WHO is struck.  My children have big plans ~ I'm excited for the adventures they will have as they grow into amazing adults who will do amazing things.  At the same time, I want to just hold them close and keep them safe.

All I can do is hope that they are protected by angels, that they will know what to do if they are faced with tragedy, and hold my puppy tight until I can breathe again and Katy is home safe from the mall.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Into the nest...

Almost a year ago, my family fostered a very large dog named Daisy.   She didn't last with us for many reasons.  She was not a breed well suited to our busy comings and goings.  She was HUGE.  She loved me and me.  She wouldn't let my son in the house.  We had no idea what we were doing.  Some of you will remember.
Tonight, we are adopting a 10 week old chocolate lab puppy who we are naming Luther.  Good breed for our family, impressed with the parents and the breeder who he is coming from, have given lots of thought and conversation to the idea, pretty sure that starting with a puppy from scratch is the right step for us.
I'm excited and kind of wigged out.  I wonder if I should have just had another baby.  I'm pretty sure you will hear a lot about our adventures over the coming months and years.
We've been reading a book called "The Dog Listener" by Jan Fennell.  It promotes a very gentle, dog friendly communication of establishing both order and comfort with your dog.  Very much companions and partners, but with clear leadership from the owner.  I'm finding it very exciting and seeing ways we can still work with some of Lily's (our old lady dog) less desirable behaviors.  I'm ready to spend time with my trainer friend Shelley, and to take classes and go to puppy playgroups.
This all sounds very much like the process we went through when our children were young.  Establishing who cares for who, who feeds who, who protects who, who leads who, who determines things like walk time, playtime, bedtime, snuggle time.

I'll keep you posted  :-)