Everlasting Irony

We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary this week. The celebration has been about 5 months in the making. Back in April, Sam proposed all over again while we were on a hike with the kids. He says I've been complaining for the past 25 years that he didn't do it right the first time and he wanted a re-do. Frankly, I love the fond memory of the hilariously botched attempt. It worked, and that's all that matters.

Knowing that I'm a planner, he proposed to me months in advance so that I could take over the planning of the grand party he wanted to have, complete with vow renewals and a new ring. Guys, that man of mine rocks gift giving like nobody's business, but somehow he missed this one. A grand event where I'm part of the center of attention is not my idea of a great time. And the ring was another matter. Sam and Becky collaborated to get me a ring from Etsy, which I dearly love. It's small, simple and so cheap that it barely counts as jewelry. Perfect. I'm just not a jewelry person. At all. I wear my wedding band and a watch. Other than that, I add earrings when I leave the house. I do love bracelets, but they're not practical to wear when working. All the jangling and shuffling gets to be bothersome, but I collect them nonetheless. I take bracelets with me every time I vacation, and usually collect a new one while away. They're fun.

Over the summer months, we had conversations about the party, and finally decided to just have friends over for a cook out. We used the pizza over that Sam and Luke have been working on (and isn't finished yet) and had a great time. It was the best 25th anniversary party that'll ever be held in our honor. It was perfect.

And I didn't get a new ring, which was also perfect. Sometime in May, just out of the blue, Sam asked me if I was coming home from a conference with a tattoo. This is the man who is inherently opposed to tattoos, and wasn't any too happy when Becky got her first. I vaguely wondered if it was really my husband that I was talking to, or if, maybe, he'd been kidnapped by aliens. Conversations upon my arrival home turned into the decision to get matching tattoos to commemorate our 25 years of marriage rather than spending money on gifts for each other, such as another ring. I was down with that.

Ironically, I have bracelets permanently attached to my wrist. I'm not a jewelry person, but I do love them. That man knows how to give good gifts.

You Don't Always Stick The Landing, But Rolling With The Fall Is Important

I should probably not have poked Murphy with the declaration that our family rolls with life. You'd think I'd know better by now. Clearly, I am a slow learner.

Vacation is two days away, and we're all super excited. We're also in the pre-vacation panic mode of trying to get  All The Things Done And Organizing All The People. With 8 of us going, (we adopted an extra for this trip), and meal planning in advance, it's been more work. It'll be nice not to have to grocery shop upon arrival, so totally worth the extra effort now.

College Boy came home late last evening to join us on the vacation, and I sat up until the wee smalls visiting with him. We only see him a few weeks per year now, so every minute counts. My mind joins Anna, from Frozen, with her declaration that "the sun is up, so I must be up," and on days like today I am not fond of this sentiment. Those 4 hours of sleep I got just aren't cutting it. I was dragging by 10am.

I learned the hard way that Darla has a sensitive stomach. I had some canned dog food sitting around and thought I'd treat her, as she could stand to gain a half pound or so. (She's a tiny dog; a little weight will go a long way on her.) She was up a few times in the night, screaming to be let out before an accident happened in her crate. I was grateful not to have to clean up a mess, and happy to know that she's a neat kind of dog. It didn't help the sleep situation, though.

FYI, that is the happiest dog ever. Not even an upset stomach keeps her down. She bounds like a deer in a clover field, and greets everyone with exuberance, even when ill. I think she's pretty much past the worst of it, and I'm so glad I learned this important bit of information about her before vacation. Had I thought to "treat" her while away, that large smell in a tiny cottage with too many people would not be pleasant. At all.

With 1.5 days left to do the packing (which hasn't been thought about, much less started), finish organizing meals, and get all the store orders done, (while trying to pretend that I'm not about to pass out from lack of sleep), Luke decided to test out his newly repaired bicycle before we took it on vacation with us. He also decided to catch some air on a jump as he headed back to the house. He didn't stick the landing the way he envisioned it in his head. He's now rocking a broken rib and shoulder blade.

It's like deja vu.  Our boys should not be allowed to own or ride pedal bikes.

So Luke's vacation will now be spent sleeping on a sofa instead of a bottom bunk, enjoying the paddle boat instead of a kayak, and is borrowing a scooter to keep up with the family while we bike. He'll be powered with narcotics and Advil. This is all provided he doesn't need the bone set before we leave, and we can't even call the doc to discuss this until morning. We're seriously hoping that we won't have to delay the trip for a few days, and that he can enjoy himself despite the pain if we ever get there.

While the timing isn't great, we're rolling with this, too, because we have no other choice. At this point in our lives, we have learned to laugh as it happens. Josh made a meme about Luke's projecting shoulder blade being reminiscent of the Hunchback of Notre Dame. I told Luke he must have planned this so he didn't have to fold his laundry that I removed from the dryer this evening. Life moves at full speed, and sometimes there are road bumps. Sticking the landing isn't always going to happen, but rolling with the fall helps keep your sanity.

Plot Twist On The New Dog

When your child comes with his very own life-long disability, you learn to roll with life pretty quickly. Often, it's not because you want to, but because you have to. And life gets re-prioritized, too. What you once thought was a big deal, you now realize isn't so much. I mean, who cares if your son wears a poodle skirt into town? He dressed himself, and that's a huge step.

Rolling and re-prioritizing. It's what life is about. Some of us are just on a steeper learning curve than others.

That being said, when Micah decided to re-name his dog, I waffled. She was just changed from Dixie to Fiona, and now he wants to name her Darla. She'll be the most confused dog ever. An individual needs some consistency, after all. It's hard enough adjusting to a new life without knowing who you are.

Fiona/Darla/WhoeverSheIs is an interesting dog. While she's too stubborn to raise her head when intently eating bugs in the lawn, it's a happy kind of stubborn. It's like she lives in her own bubble world, with butterflies and rainbows and unicorns. She's oblivious to things around her, and just focused on whatever makes her tail wag at the moment.

Maybe that's what prompted me to start looking at the situation more closely. I retraced the past 2 weeks, and looked at incidents with new eyes. I came to the conclusion that the dog doesn't hear well. I spent a few hours conducting random tests, like snapping at each ear as she slept, and dropping a heavy object at the other end of the room. I had others make loud noises behind her as I held her, and we discussed how she lacked reaction of any kind.

Guys, this is the perfect dog for us. Our disabled son has his very own disabled dog. We are pretty sure that Fiona is completely deaf. This is a plot twist, of course, but nothing we can't roll with. And it's even better, because now Micah can change her name any time he wants. It's not going to confuse the dog at all. We may never know who he's talking about, but that's beside the point.

Darla, as she'll be called until further notice, is going to teach us a whole lot, just like her owner does. We're already re-learning how to interact with her, and to teach her basic things like NO and DOWN. Words just aren't going to cut it, and that's sad because I have perfected the Mom Voice after 22 years of parenting. Even the dogs respect that voice, and heed my commands when they hear it. I'll have to up my game with the Stink Eye, I guess.

I know many people with deaf dogs, which is probably what set me to thinking this might be the problem with Darla's stubbornness. I have resources to tap into and learn from, and that's all anyone can ask for. A good support system is golden, whether it's for your children or their pets. We're moving forward, because life doesn't stop to allow you to process things. And really, this isn't anything new to Darla. I'm taking her happy cue and wagging my tail as we navigate the unknown ahead of us.