Twue Wuv.

18 06 2013

His big brown eyes gaze into mine, expressing what he cannot say. He can speak volumes with his eyes. I know how much he loves me, I feel how thankful he is for all that I do for him. And dare I think he smiles at me? Oh yes, he does. He grins for me, his eyes shining with adoration. My hear melts, my love in return holds no bounds. He gives me his entire heart and soul and I am so grateful for it. He makes me a better person.

He is my dog, my pal, my best friend. He protects my children, chases bears, amuses us with tricks and antics. He gives and gives from such a deep well of truth. This soul, this animal I have in my life, this giver of unconditional love: he makes our lives a more well-woven tapestry of connectivity. He listens so well. Tutter The Mutter makes our lives complete.

The deep and agonizing sadness is how we are seeing him age. His hips bother him now after a big walk. He lays down willingly for a massage, somehow knowing it helps him feel better.  In fact, when we pull the old massager out, he runs and pushes us out of the way in hopes of being the recipient. He can’t go on long quad rides anymore since sitting on the back seat is just too hard for him. Telling him he has to stay home when he hears the bikes fire up is like tearing out his heart. His head droops, he sighs and he walks away, reluctantly accepting his family is doing what he loves without him. It’s too much to bear, this canine sadness.

But just whisper the word “walkies” to him and he is giddy with glee. We meander now, letting him lead the way with sniffies and peeing on every tree he can find. And when we tell him to “load up” into the truck or car, he does so and nothing and nobody could pry him out of that vehicle. Beach trips are his favourites, trips to Opa’s farm are his favourites, BBQs at my sister’s so he can play with their dog Kenai are his favourites… well, anything to do with all of us being together is his favourite. Wouldn’t it be lovely to live with such expressive joy and complete abandon and totally in the moment like a dog? His joy is our joy.

A life without a dog boggles my mind. I cannot imagine being without my canine pal. The settling dread of his life nearing his end is haunting me now more than ever. This is when I dig deep and give him everything he needs. Not a day goes by without him getting extra love and attention from us. Bones to gnaw on, a good brushing, extra cookies now and then. I give and give and give to my dog, my sweet Tutter, because I know it will never ever equal to what he has given me.

Mean girls.

11 06 2013

My daughter is almost my height. She is fierce and strong and speaks her mind. She will NOT take shit from anyone, much to my delight. She gets out on the soccer pitch and throws her heart and soul into playing. She challenges the other team, she’s fast, she is not afraid. She is a force to be reckoned with. And alongside of all this, she is sweet and giving, kind and empathetic.

But sadly, when she plays soccer to her fullest effort, she is sometimes targeted by others for being “mean” or “violent”.

I have never once seen my daughter go out of her way to play dirty. When there are (inevitable) collisions on the pitch, she feels empathetic towards the other player, and offers a hand or an apology if the other girl is hurt. She has faced nasty responses from other girls, she faces gossipy texts that are accusatory of her strength not being  a wonderful attribute, but rather a detriment to her own being.

We talk, her and I, when heading home from games. I applaud her strength in her spirit when facing this. I often say “Well, if the other girl doesn’t want to be accidentally kicked in the shins when going for that ball, maybe she should stay home and crochet a cozy for her tea pot and NOT PLAY SOCCER.”

I tell her to not be apologetic for her fierceness and competitive nature. Be proud of your strength and courage and do NOT bury it within girly wiles of softness and allowance. Allow it to become part of who you are!  Do not let others define you by what they believe what a girl should be.

Pffft. A girl should be exactly who her heart demands. You want to kick ass and play sports? Celebrate your abilities and strong muscles?  Go for it! You want to get that ball away in hopes of scoring? Yes! If you are hurt or hurt someone while playing sports, well…. that’s SPORTS. If you happen to be both kind and sweet and still vicious on that pitch, then that is exactly who you are supposed to be. Revel in it.

I guess my whole pride and support for her echoes within my own heart. While telling her to never be apologetic for her own strength and perseverance, I am telling my own self this as well. I am gently reminding me of being okay with who I am too. I am encouraging myself to stop those self-degrading motions of second-guessing and worry about how I may be perceived in this world.

We all need to honour our own strengths, and stop apologizing for being kick-ass women.