What Life Has to Offer
It’s been a week.
Our boy pup, Kazh, is the one who suffered a severely broken leg mere weeks after we rescued him two years ago. Surgery and several weeks of hard recovery followed. And that leg, held together with plates and screws, is fine. The other leg? Not so much.
This dog lives for sprinting. Nothing makes him happier than to go all-out in a big field with the sole purpose of bringing down a runaway tennis ball. But since he started limping last spring, we’ve held off on the sprinting.
After a consult with the vet, we settled on a long course of anti-inflammatory meds, which eventually seemed to resolve the issue.
Until last Tuesday. Since fall had finally decided to visit Georgia and he had been limp-free for months, we decided to take him sprinting. It was glorious. Until we got home, where he soon refused to put any weight on the leg. Even worse, unlike the last time, he was in obvious pain, whimpering throughout the night, bringing back horrible memories of trying to comfort him with the earlier broken leg.
We were pretty sure we were looking at a blown knee and imminent surgery, which would make for a really rough couple months (turns out our boy likes to eat casts and so cannot be unsupervised post-surgery). But luck was on our side as the vet he saw the next morning said that, although she wasn’t sure what it was, it wasn’t a torn ligament. And a shot with the accompanying meds have started him back on the road to recovery.
(A side note – Does anyone else find that walking dogs in the dark in October is like taking them through a haunted house as they startle at the various Halloween decorations? It cracks me up on a daily basis as my dogs think they have to protect the pack from zombie brides, flashing pumpkins, giant spiders and an inflatable dragon. It makes want to experience it through their eyes!)
It’s been really sweet watching his sister, another rescue brought in about ten months ago, take care of him while he’s down. She refuses to leave his side and is both protective of him and nurturing towards him. Dogs are the best.
But no more sprinting.
At the same time we were worried about our boy, we’ve also been concerned for our friends who, quite frankly, have had life shit on them over the last couple months. You know that life stressor list that ranks events on a scale of 1-100? I think they’re dealing with about half of them right now. But as of yesterday, things are also looking up for them. I hope that they are able to shift from a position of survival to one of recovery.
And then there’s work. There’s a particularly stressful and tricky-to-navigate situation right now. On the plus side, I’m proud of myself. In past years, I would have martyred myself in an attempt to fix it. Now? I’m doing a pretty good job of maintaining the boundary between “I’ll help” and “Not my job.”
I also bought myself an electric tea kettle for my classroom.
I was inspired by a few of my 8th grade girls who have Tea Time Tuesday, where they take turns bringing in a tea kettle, a thermos of hot water and tea each week. They were so excited to learn about the new hot water source. And I have to say, they’re on to something. Having tea within reach throughout the day on Friday was so soothing and felt like such an indulgence.
My kids are so amazing. I had them do a first quarter reflection yesterday where, among other things, I asked them what behaviors/actions/mindsets were beneficial to them in math this year, what behaviors/actions/mindsets were holding them back and what they were most proud of themselves for.
And the responses. Wow. It’s really amazing to see such insight, self-awareness and growth mindset in these kids. And not only that, they’re just good people. During our twice a month lesson on social and emotional learning, we went down a rabbit hole that ended with this video.
By the end, we were all openly weeping. And how cool is that? To have a middle school classroom where it is okay to cry, okay to ask for help, okay to admit weakness and okay to celebrate growth. Because after all, that’s what life has to offer.