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Monday, February 22, 2010

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

Comedy and Tragedy.
Yin and Yang. 
Up and down.

It all happened in moments, making it impossible for me to be completely in one moment or the other at one time.

Today, I picked my daughter up from school.  I was a few minutes late as we received ten puppy mill dogs that were responsibly surrendered by their breeder into rescue.  They did not arrive until just before 3 in the afternoon and I had to leave at 3:30.  (Special thanks to our committed transport volunteer for making two special trips for us today, bringing Casper to his eye surgery appointment, and bringing these ten new souls to us!  You know who you are and we love you for it!)
At a hectic pace, I continue on to pick up my son and bring both kids to their tumbling class.  We actually arrived early, which rarely happens, and with no major meltdown during the drive!  I expected meltdowns since the only snack I had for the ride was apples and granola bars.  My son is usually the one that fusses on the trip to class.  "What!? No fruit snacks?!"  But they were both happy with apples and never even got to the granola bars as we pulled into the parking lot of tumbling class.

My son hops into his tumbling class that runs from 4:30 to 5:00, then my daughter's class runs from 5:00 to 6:00. 

While he is in class, I watch a few of his stunts, then decide to walk through the sidewalk sale at the mall with my daughter. She sees this claw machine filled with teddy bears.  One of those machines you see in arcades that kids load their change into, and rarely if ever walk away with one of the toys inside it.

She decides she wants a teddy bear from the machine.  I try to explain to her that just because you put money in this machine, does not mean that she will get a bear.  It is not like a gumball machine with a guaranteed outcome.  I keep walking and she starts begging for the teddy bear.  I gave her two warnings as we walked through one of the stores that she needed to stop asking or we would go back to class instead of walking through the mall.  She doesn't stop.  As a matter of fact, she gets louder. 

As we head back to the class, we walk passed the machine and she gets louder, and louder and louder.  I go into class and sit and she cries and begs.  I try to keep my wits about me but it just keeps going on despite all the logic and rationalizing and bargaining I can come up with to solve this dilemma in a rational way.  "Miranda, your friends are watching you act like a baby.  Miranda, go do a time out. Miranda, how old are you?  Miranda, if you don't stop acting like this you will not stay for your own tumbling class."  Other parents of the toddler class are watching my six year old act like a terrible two-ser!  I cannot help but get extremely self conscious as all of this is going on.  I realize in this rational moment as I write that most parents would sympathize with me, as we all experience completely irrational tantrum moments in public with our children.  But in that bazarre moment, I felt as though the other parents were thinking how inadequate I was as a parent, and how that child must be completely out of control all the time.

Twenty minutes later, still amidst constant cries, begging, sobs, and lots of six year old noise,  just moments before the toddler class is over, my cell phone rings.  It's the vet clinic.  I sigh an aggravated sigh, because with all I am dealing with at this moment, the stresses of work are not a welcome distraction even though they are usually mild compared to this raging tantrum my daughter is having.

I press the little green button.
"It passed!  The puppy mill bill passed in the senate!" 

I could barely muster up a "that's great" in the moment I was in.  Nothing felt great at this moment.   This moment was the screeching owl, nails on a chalkboard, chewing on tin foil, indian burn, paper cut moment of my life.  It was all bad.  I was MORTIFIED, EMBARRASSED, and so sad for my daughter and whatever internal strife was causing this aberrant behavior, and yet wanted desperately to be thrilled about this amazing news of progress. 

Why did it happen now!  Why couldn't I get the call at a time when I could be elated?  Why couldn't I get a call at a time when I could celebrate?

I can tell you why.  This bill was not about me. This bill was not intended to make any one person happy.  This bill was not the success of one person or even a group of people.  This bill is intended to provide a fail-safe for the breeding dogs of our state.  If the federal inspectors fail them, our hope is that our local inspectors will correct any wrongs.  This bill is intended to provide protection to those who are so often left unprotected.  This bill happened because it needed to happen, not because I need to celebrate it.

Tomorrow morning when I go into work, I will have ten puppy mill survivors depending on me to take their photos, get them healthy, and find them their forever homes.  Tomorrow morning I hope some of this victory will taste sweet. 

But tonight, it is my son's turn.  I am listening to him say, "I hate you, Mom" for putting him to bed about a dozen times while he insists on walking around the house rather than staying in bed.  Tonight the motherhood battle seems more difficult than the rescue battle. 

While both battles have their difficult moments, and both battles are very personal,  I hope both will end in sweet victory with my children living in a state, and on a planet full of people that take responsibility for their furry companions and no longer consider them just a disposable product of commerce. 

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1 comment:

Kristin Redenius said...

Thanks Lisa! I love ya! You have a great heart. I hope I feel better Thursday. I will come help if I feel better and just skip lunch until I have to pick Tanner up. I have to be honest I am not a real fan of the cold and of course this is suppose to be the coldest week. I don't know how much more winter I can take! Don't worry about the kids all us moms relate! We've all been through it before. You are doing just fine!