The one place where I learn to show up
She was waiting for me at the bottom of the stairs with her white paws dancing and her black tail enthusiastically wagging because she knew what was about to happen. A few minutes earlier I had heard the excited whimper that she couldn’t contain because her well trained ears recognized the sound of the drawer opening. When I opened it I wondered, as I usually do, Shall I wear the black or the white running skorts today? Do I pair it with the gray or coral shirt? All other drawers, when opened, fall on deaf ears, but this one, this one she knows. She awaits the faint sound of the intimate embrace of my shoe-laces, and of my wrist taken captive by its watchful judge. She can’t contain her excitement. She knows. She always knows.
It was that spring day on which we all heard the sound of the collective Texan sigh; it was the first day that the devil woke up before the rest of us and began to spread the sweltering, oppressive stench of deadly steam that he exhales when he proudly yawns. It was the day we each had to decide: Do I face the hot demon and learn to live along side him for the next few months, or do I lock myself up in my cave and turn down the A/C as low as my pocket book allows me?
My selfish wimpy self wanted to go to the gym, but Lizzy’s hopeful eyes and excited leaps convinced me otherwise. I just didn’t have the heart to let her down. I smiled, gave her an excited “Let’s go!”- And we headed out the door, into the sweltering heat.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I wanted to stay under my covers reading my favorite book instead of giving into my youngest son’s pleas to read him a chapter from his favorite book. It’s hard to pick up the car keys and drive my oldest to soccer when what I really want to do is send my exhausted husband instead. How many slow motion bicycle rides have I endured in order to spend some quality time with my small ones in the great outdoors? How many last pieces of pie have I let go of? How many times did I have to give up the last sip of ice cold water on a sizzling hot day?
Sometimes we just need to head out the door. In the end, I may be hot, sweating, and nurturing a headache the size of hell itself. But as soon as I’m done, close the door behind me, and feel the relief of the welcoming cool air to relieve my salty, sweat-laden skin, not only am I thankful that I had a good run, but so is my excited, and perhaps (I’d like to think) even thankful, dog.
It is so hard sometimes to let go of my selfish agenda in order to give joy to others. But most of the time I realize, just as I did on that hot day as I delighted in Lizzy’s elation, that reading to my boy till my throat is parched, watching my other improve his soccer skills, riding my bike alongside the snail and giving up the last piece of pie are totally worth it. There is no joy greater and more satisfying than enjoying the pleasure of others.
Heading out the door is worth it.
It is time to get hot and delight in the happiness of those I love.