Saturday, June 5, 2010

Dog Mom, once again

Dear Stevie,
When Dad and I got Foxy two years ago, we became official Dog Parents. I became a Dog Mom. We've honestly debated which was the best day of our lives so far: getting Foxy or our wedding day. Foxy beat out our wedding. That's how much fun it was picking out our puppy and bringing her home. We became obsessed. That summer two years ago was filled with walks around the lake, puppy kindergarten, me dressing her up in silly little dog outfits, Dad rolling his eyes and setting her free of those silly little dog outfits, and lots of interupted sleep during potty training. Then we got Jackie five months later and our lives became even more fun.

I loved being a Dog Mom. I put up way too many pictures of the girls in my office, spent hours on my online Toy Poodle forum, and talked about them every chance I got, especially with other Dog Moms I would meet. At work, I was younger than all of my coworkers and one of the only ones without kids yet, but that didn't stop me from joining in their kid-centered conversations. They'd be talking about taking their kid to the doctor; "Oh yeah, Foxy had the worst eye infection last week and I had to bring her into the vet. She's so funny, she's the only dog in the world who gets excited when the vet goes to stick the doggy thermometer up her butt..." They'd be talking about how well their kid was doing in preschool; "Yeah, Foxy did awesome in puppy class, but she could never quite master the whole sitting on command thing..." They'd be talking about their kids fighting with siblings; "Yeah, Foxy and Jackie love to play-fight for hours over this pink cat beanie baby we have. They'll run around the house, each holding onto one end of the cat with their mouths, for hours. It's so cute..."

We even had "family photos" taken the summer we got Foxy. I told you we were obsessed!

Me and the Fox

Getting kisses from Miss Jackie

Like I said, I loved being a Dog Mom. But after I found out I was pregnant with you, I was so excited to also become a Real Mom. I was so ready to join the "mother club", to take part in those kid-centered conversations and brag about my little girl. I got so close to becoming a member of that club, but my dreams of being a Real Mom were crushed in an instant four weeks ago when my only child, you, died.

So going back to being "just" a Dog Mom again is really, really hard. This summer a lot of our good friends and family are getting their first dogs (like my two best friends and both of Andy's brothers and their wives--crazy!). It's been a lot of fun meeting all the new adorable pups, but as we're all sitting around, watching the dogs play and discussing dog food, the best potty-training methods, and episodes of "the Dog Whisperer," I can't help but be sad I'm not watching you play on the floor with all the dogs, and telling everyone how we're trying to teach you not to pull on their tails.

I feel like I've been demoted. Demoted from Real Mom to Dog Mom. Before I was pregnant with you, I was perfectly content being a Dog Mom, but now that I've tasted what it feels like to be a Real Mom, I want it so bad. I can't just go back to the way it was before. You made me a Real Mom, and now this Real Mom wants a child to mother so bad. I want you to mother so bad.

You brought out a desire, a love in my heart so strong, that I never even knew existed. I feel like I was made to be a mommy, but I have no baby to be a mommy too. Like a bird, meant to fly, with no wings. It's a strange, strange feeling.

Thank you, Baby, for coming into my life and making me a mother, and for showing Dad and I how badly we want to be parents. We both wish you were here with us so, so much. I love you with all my heart.

Your (Real) Mom


shabbycottagegirl said...

Hey lady,

Love the post. I completely agree with you. "Before" I was just a fanatical pug/frenchie mom. I didn't even want real babies, my fur-babies were enough for me. But now it is literally all I can think about.

And there's a million perfectly logical reasons for us to not try again right now:
1)I want to make sure it's for the right reasons and not just that I'm missing my first baby so much.
2)It'd be nice to get married first. [Not that we're worried about the scandal (we already live together) but I hear the tax benefits are great?]
3)It'd also be nice to have a wee bit of money saved up.
and many many others.

Then again I could just be making excuses because I'm scared.

Sending love and many thoughts your way today.

(Happy four-week birthday Stevie.)

Andrea said...


Thought your heart is broken and you don't feel as if you are mothering anyone, you ARE. You will forever mother Stevie...always. And, you Mother her beautifuly, right here in "her place".

I always shed many tears when I read your words, as they are so vulnerable, honest, real and loving. Furthermore, I suppose I cry a little for myself too...after a year has past it's easier, but you just never lose that ache for your child.

Lifting you up in prayer as you journey on,

Danae said...

I understand feeling "demoted". We have a Yorkie and we have always called each other "mommy" & "daddy" with him. My parents even refer to him as "granddog". And finding out we were pregnant with Bailey, we knew it would all FINALLY get to change. We would get to be mommy and daddy to someone other than the dog! And after she passed, I too had the feeling like I had been demoted.

But, we haven't been demoted nor can we ever be. We are still "real" moms to our precious little girls. And though they aren't still here with us physically, the thought and the memories will always be with us. They will always be real, and our love for them will always be real.

It feels like we are walking in the same shoes and down the same road. I read your posts and feel like I am reading about every thought that has been in my head.

Just know you're not alone and I'm thinking about you!

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