Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hello, my baby.

Henry Bear returned to me today after a short visit with his Grandma. My mom and I call this time his "sabbatical" which gives me the image of this little guy writing in his journal, creating poetry and having deep thoughts - like a tiny, furry Thoreau. I love being able to give him a breather from the city but we both have some wicked separation anxiety when apart. You can imagine the joy that happens when we're finally reunited (after all of, like, ten days).

His triumphant, tail-wagging return has inspired me to create another list of all the amazing things this little guy teaches me:

1. First, the obvious: getting out of the city is crucial to one's happiness and health. Sometimes I'm too hard on myself for needing breaks from this crazy town and he helps remind me that we can all benefit from time away from the sights, sounds and people.

2. Fresh air is also crucial to one's health and happiness. Even when Henry stays with my mom, I find myself taking walks if I'm cooped up in my apartment for too long. One night in particular, I felt so ancy and couldn't pinpoint the reason. A short walk (and a cookie and a bunch of kale) later, all was right again.

3. I am allowed to rest. It doesn't mean I'm slacking on responsibilities or missing out on the-best-thing-ever. It means I'm taking care of myself. Henry highly encourages naps.

4. Know your people. Figure out who is always in your corner, on your team. Not just when you're being adorable and fun but when you're whiny, yelling (barking?), nervous or feeling shy. These people are rare, be loyal to them. Also know who likes to give you treats and stick with those people, too.

5. Cuddling is a daily requirement. Let people hold you, rub your back, massage your head.

6. Electronics will never be more important than the people you Love. If Hens wants attention and I'm choosing to text or type, he will nudge the phone out of my hand or slam his paw on the keyboard. Yes, seriously.

7. Be honest about your needs. Demand them lovingly. None of that passive-aggressive-you-should-know-what-I-need shit. Tell them. (See number six for examples.)

8. Play as often as possible. Show off a little. Dance with your favorite person. High five a lot.

9. Treat the start of a new day like you have won the fucking lottery. Waking up is enough of a reason to throw a party. Sometimes Henry wakes me up at ungodly hours, already wanting to play, and you know what? I literally don't care. His little face gets me out of bed faster than anything. Sometimes I get to wake him up and that is even better.

10. Love actively. Let the Love you feel for someone spread across your face and into your body until you are moving with joy. Show them you Love them. Tell them you Love them. Out loud, often. It is not enough to just Love, it's a full body, full soul, every day experience.

So much wisdom in such a tiny pup :)

What about you? What have you learned from your pets (or, you know, human children)?

P.S. A big THANK YOU to my momma for watching the baby.
P.P.S My cousin noted (on Facebook) that she thinks he looks like me in the picture above. That's the first time that's happened and I am strangely delighted. My sister said he looks like a bobble-head. Not as delighted.

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