Friday, July 1, 2016

Why Saying Yes Matters

Sometimes as a parent you feel like your main job is to say, "No."  Seriously, some of the things my kids ask me make me a little bit scared for the future.  And even worse are the things they DON'T ask  ("Hey--lets tie a couple of boogie boards together and slide down a hill of ice and take out a few dogs and ram into the brick house on the way down--it'll be so fun!)

Moving to Aubrey has been a rough transition for Caroline.  She had a great group of friends at our old house and we didn't even think to worry about her when we moved. She's one of those kids that you just want as your friend because she's loyal and loves well.  Aubrey is a small town where many of the people have roots that go back generations here.  They don't mean to exclude, but part of the small town feel is that people stick together and don't always go out of their way to include newbies. 

Add the fact that she was diagnosed as dyslexic her first year here and you have a perfect storm. 

I've worried and manipulated and prayed about what to do.  I still feel at the end of most days, that I am failing her because I can't fix it.  (I know, I know--that's not my job, but I'm good at fixing things so I turn her stuff into my own identity crisis.  Narcissists are good that way.)

Caroline is our animal whisperer.  She can get chickens to fall asleep in her arms and turtles to calm down.  And she knows how to use the internet.  So she is always bringing us screenshots of animals that she wants.  Always.  Every. Single. Day. 

About a week ago, Brian approached me and somehow made me agree that a puppy for her was the best thing to teach her responsibility and give her something of her own.  So she upped her search and had him calling on several little "puffball" kinds of puppies--little bitties that won't grow bigger than your two hands and can fit in a bag.

Then, I'm on my way home from getting a haircut and I get a call from Hope.  "Mom, you gotta get home quick.  First of all, Dad got a call back about a dog and we are going to get it when you get here.  Secondly, dad put salt in the bb gun and is shooting flies." 

I don't make this stuff up.

After telling her to let him know he was cleaning up any mess he made (to which he shouted in the background "Make me!" I asked Hope which dog.  Somehow, Caroline fell in love with a Brittany spaniel and THAT was the dog we were going to get.

Ummm...what happened to the puffball?  Brian insists he had nothing to do with the change of heart, but I still think he secretly showed her a few and whispered things to her when she was sleeping. 

So, I found myself in the back yard of a lady in Gainesville, holding a sweet little puppy.  And laughing at her on the way home as she chewed Caroline's hair.  And feeling that exhaustion that comes from being woken up all night by cries and barking. And sighing at how sweet she looked when she finally fell asleep.

We will probably have many regrets.  I KNOW she will be work.  I also know that helping Caroline "parent" her will not be a piece of cake.  But it's one more step to raising daughters who can enter the world and know how to take care of themselves. 

And I *might* have already used it to tell her how having a baby is even harder--just to throw the abstinence reminder out there. 

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