Dear Linker Pup,
You blazed the trail to motherhood in my heart. You infuse even the most trying moments with genuine joy and laughter. Due to your zealous spirit, adventurous ways and black.hair.everywhere…I wouldn’t dare describe life with you as convenient or “easy.” But you have taught me that it’s always better to choose love over convenience.
When I venture off into another place in my head or become transfixed by a false realm of picture perfection, you gently nudge me into the imperfect present, with your eager eyes and dirty paws, the trademarks of youth. Thank you for teaching me to choose here and now over then and there.
When you barrel into the nursery where I’m feeding or rocking your new little sister, a tennis shoe (not so subtly) wedged inside your jaw, you remind me that we only have this one beautiful life, to not squander it all inside, closed off. To barrel and bustle more.
When I feel lonely or distraught and think it better to construct walls around my heart than to keep it open and vulnerable to hurt and pain, your wet little nose moves in and reminds me to choose proximity over distance, that grief and pain are the souvenirs of love.
And now that you are a big brother, now that your walks and long ear rubs are fewer and farther between, your meals off schedule and your fur a little dirtier, you have taught me what it looks like to gently and gracefully step aside. To put my “urgent” to-dos, my ego and my vanity on hold. To nestle into the sweetness of the imperfect moment and patiently allow someone else to wiggle her way into center stage of my blooming heart.
And while some may find it frivolous or absurd to write this gushy letter to an animal who will never possess the ability to read it or comprehend all that he has taught me, I say they’re missing the point. If our children are never be able to grasp the depth of our love for them, does that mean we should restrain the profession of such love? Never. Not ever. It is within this recognition and pouring out that we heal. We grow. And with it, our love.
Happy third birthday, Linker pup. I love you.