My New Doggie

In August, I became a doggie-mommy again.  I adopted another Golden-retriever mix, who has many Aspen-like similarities.  We named her Dixie, as she was found on a Tennessee highway. Actually, I tend to call her Dixie-Doodle a lot…..to represent her Southern heritage and her new Yankee Doodle home.

I announced in July that I would be adopting her. There was no forethought, no discussions. I didn’t ask permission. It felt like the right thing to do and I was doing it. 

Not a single person asked me WHY I was adopting a new dog.

I’ll assume it was one of two logically-concluded reasons–(1) she looks so much like Aspy, that OBVIOUSLY Anita had FINALLY found an Aspen-replacement, and/or (2), anita is such an animal lover, that she must have felt the need to give another dog a good home. On some level, both may be true. I joke around that one day I might become a crazy dog lady.

I adopted Dixie because I was tired of feeling alone.

When Aspen came into our lives in 1997, hubby and I had moved to S Cali a few months before. He was over his head in an exciting new job, and I was sitting home alone in a new state, a new community, without a job, just started a new school, with no friends or family around…..and I felt very alone.  Granted, hubby had promised that we would get a dog in our new home (a very exciting prospect for me, as I LOVE dogs and was never allowed to have one). But I had never truly appreciated the saying “man’s best friend” until Aspy came into our lives.  She became my best friend during a time that I needed one. Aspy helped me get over a bad “break-up” with a very good friend; she kept me company when hubby worked late or traveled; and she comforted me when I’d come home from a long day of classes, when I was tired and tired of feeling like an outsider. Aspen always had a smile for me. And I can’t forget to mention that she was a great snacking partner–she and I both put on a few pounds snacking on potato chips while studying for finals and the bar exam.

Over the past 3 years, I’ve been dealing with a lot of personal shit. Losing Aspen in 2011 was hard. The following year, lots of emotionally challenging things happened–my human BFF died (see previous post), family issues took a huge emotional toll on me (esp. Since I was still reeling from BFF’s death). Did some therapy, lots of soul searching. Couldn’t climb out of my funk. Then my kids started getting older (natural progression of life, I know)….and they started to need me less….or more accurately, they have started to do their own thing. Hubby’s been wrapped up in a new job and basketball.

I began to feel very alone in the world again.

Then one day, in July 2014, a friend posted on FB, a picture of a young, blonde female Golden Retriever mix up for adoption through a rescue organization in Tennessee. She had Aspy’s eyes and small ears. 

I looked at her picture and all I could think of was……friend.

So with a little bit of rebellion and spunk, I put in an application to adopt her. I didn’t consult or talk over the decision with anybody. I just did it. To assert MY independence and free will, I guess. 

Dixie has been with us since August. I have been able to focus more, and to see the other “side of the coin,” if you will. I am calmer, and slightly more at peace. I love having that smiley happy face look up at me and say “hey there”. Someone who loves me despite my faults, fears, anxieties, and funky moods. No expectations or demands, other than a belly rub and a pat on the head (and a walk would be very nice, too).

  

So, that’s my new Dixie-doo, my new friend and companion. Very glad we have saved each other.

A little too much Beverly Goldberg?

I love Beverly Goldberg.  I feel like I am the modern-day Beverly Goldberg wanna-be. I grew up in the 80’s, I love big hair (although, try as I might, my hair is too fine to give me that fantastic big-hair look), I love big hair rock bands, I love colorful sweaters with padded shoulders (I do still own one, that I purchased circa 1989), I love pastel colors, and floofy skirts.

And I love my kids.  Almost as much as Beverly Goldberg loves hers.

And you know what I mean by that.

My problem is getting close to that line….and crossing it…when it comes to Nosy-Mother-Syndrome.

For years I have heard and read articles on “make sure you communicate with your children…..know where they are….who their friends are…..who they are with…..build a relationship with your kids so there will be mutual trust.”   For the most part, hubby and I have succeeded in developing fantastic relationships with our boys.  We have always eaten dinner as a family (unless hubby is traveling or we luck out and go on a date night).  On weekends, I cook up nice “fancy” breakfasts that we all eat together. We’ve gone on vacation trips together and seen things and hung out together….instead of shipping them off to a vacation “kiddie camp”.  We go out to dinner as a family once a week. And for 98% of the time, both parents are at each child’s sporting event.   We ask them about school, we (ok….I) can sense when something isn’t “right.” And they talk to us. It’s great.

But we have now entered the teen-age years with the twins. And they have mobile communication devices. With social media apps.  Parenting has become a whole lot more sophisticated in terms of technology, and keeping up with it.

I remember the teen-age years.  A teen-ager wants (and needs?) to be left alone to sort out feelings and friendships. A teen-ager doesn’t want to have a clingy mom hanging on or spying or questioning every move.  Teen-agers typically push parents away.

Luckily there hasn’t been any pushing or shoving away YET.  There’s been some “MOOOOOOMMMMMMM, leave me alone.” And I can handle that.  But I want to continue to stay involved and have the lines of communication open, but without crossing the boundaries.

For example, T-man has been texting with a girl for several weeks.  I am *dying* to know what they write about (and I know T-man well enough that it is all clean, and platonic, and most likely bordering BORING). But I want to know.  So I have to think back 20+ years and remember that my mom (for the most part….that I know of or can remember) respected my privacy by not listening on the other phone or reading my diary.

As for M-Man, he’s a lot more secretive and sneakier.  He is always on the verge of pushing boundaries or acting slightly suspicious. I feel the need to  Spot-check his device for inappropriate stuff or breaking rules–and I have caught him on 2 occasions with breaking rules.

So for now I have to continue  trusting my kids, keep talking with them, keep trying to be the “cool mom” ……without crossing the Beverly Goldberg line.

return to blogging

I’ve decided that I’m going to make a splash back into blogging.  Some deeper stuff.  I’ve been to therapy, and I’ve spoken with friends, and yes, I have even written in a journal. None of which has “done the trick.” I’m assuming because the therapists, my friends, and yes, even the journal, can’t relate.  Or maybe I’m too stubborn to comprehend and act on the advice I’ve been given. I feel that if I put my thoughts and issues “out there”, maybe, somewhere, one person who’s had similar thoughts and issues can say “Hey, I’ve been there….it does take a while….but here is what helped for me.”

Upcoming topics—marriage, jobs, friends, kids, parents.  Sounds like a typical life, huh?