My class made me BONKERS today. Truly out of my mind frustrated. It wasn’t them. It was me. Any sound, any movement that was too much, any anything felt like fingers on chalkboard.
They were just being kids, and it was nothing different than our regular. They were just, you know, being Kindergarten.
Today was the day we got to have the puppy come, since we’d earned it. After we earned an ice cream party, they voted to earn “a puppy” for the next one. I said, “I can do that! My son’s puppy can come.”
Can all days involve getting to have a puppy come and jump on you and lick your face and remind you to have a present-moment experience? I want a classroom dog! I want to bring my dog every day and have her be the Carl of the classroom. I want as many therapy animals as I can get away with in my classroom. It’s huge and amazing to see children with animals.
The other thing, the really even bigger thing, is that this puppy is my son’s. He’s got his own dog to train, raise, care for, earn money to pay for vet bills for, take in his truck, plan for, make space in his life for. It is so big and so meaningful to me, well, I’m a little weepy and teary about it. Don’t tell him, it will embarrass him. Not only did he get attention from the Kindergarteners because he was bringing a puppy, but he also is Liam, a striking 6’4″, unbelievably handsome, stylish, polite, soft spoken. He is just too cool. He noticed that Baloo, his puppy’s name, straight out of Jungle Book, a favorite from childhood, was spending too much time with some of the kids, and he didn’t want the other kids waiting for a turn to be left out. So we made sure everyone had time with with the puppy by picking him up and taking him over to the waiting kids.
Later he walked Baloo around the room while my students wrote about him in their journals, all excited about his presence. He sniffed the kids, and Liam walked him around, bringing him to the children that were following directions. My son is a rockstar. I have always known he was. But in Kindergarten, this was not his story. He wanted to go live inside of Jungle Book, to be raised by the wolves like Mowgli, to swim in the river with Baloo. He couldn’t abide school, it was too much.
Thank God he hung in there, that we all practiced grace, and now here we are. Here is this beautiful young man, raising his own puppy son, being a parent, learning the ropes. There is so much that is astounding to me in this world, and watching my children become the people they are…nothing else like it. It is the most humbling practice, to raise humans that become adults and make their own lives. The shiny bright light of that love is blinding, it is so spectacular. I can’t even look at it or think about it too long without weeping.
What a wave of gratitude I have for this.
Even when today felt impossible and even kind of shitty there for a few minutes, it also was a day that I stayed in myself. It was a full day of present-moment experiences.
Nothing like a puppy licking your face to bring you to NOW.