Last week this was our home in a nutshell.
My hubby has been traveling quite a lot for work. He's been gone, I've been in a funk and the kids have been wily with cabin fever. I was told that my cholesterol is high, my triglycerides have skyrocketed and I have to take a pill that could screw up my liver. Well, yippy skippy. On top of that, a person who dropped us like a bad habit 1 1/2 years ago has called out of the blue to say hello and chat and ask to come over next month because...I have no idea why...they just talked about the weather, chatted about nothing and they want to come over. There was no "I'm sorry" no "Hey I'm an arse" nothing. The dog peed on the boys' Xbox 360 and it is out of commission and the cable and Internet went out.
It snowed and snowed the day before yesterday. Blissfully enough our dogs have found a way to escape our yard. The dogs keep getting out of the yard through a hole in our fence and I...was really, really in a funk. (I think I mentioned that) My poor boys were chasing dogs, picking up poop and having to deal with mom having a huge headache. They are helping around the house and generally being great kids. However, I neglected to place rules on dog chasing.
I know, maybe that doesn't seem like something that should have to be done in some households but let me tell you, I SHOULD have thought of making some dog chasing rules before Friday rolled around.
Why? Have you ever lost your child in a store? If so, you know how those few minutes feel. You know that the overwhelming feeling of loss lingers days and sometimes months after the episode. You know that the nervous feeling creeps up on you when you least expect it and the slightest motion at the wrong time, days or even weeks later can make you jump a mile....because you STILL haven't recuperated.
I neglected to make dog chasing rules. Our 7 year old son, Vinze was LOST in our city...OUR CITY...DETROIT! ONE MILE AWAY FROM 8 MILE...(HAVE YOU SEEN THE MOVIE?)
How did that happen, You Ask? OH, let me share the joyous news with you my friend...
First I must rephrase this...
HE wasn't lost...HE knew where he was at all times....
I however, DID NOT know where he was!
One of the dogs got out (again) while Vinnie was "watching" them out in the back yard. It was his turn for dog duty and I am almost sure he had this planned out! I was getting the first escaped dog, barefoot in the snow, while Vinnie was "watching" the other two dogs. TaDa! BOTH of the other dogs got out too. Before I could say anything, Vinze was off and running to get the other two. One ran one way and the other ran another. Brise and Kazz put on their shoes and headed out. I came in the house carrying one dog and thought to myself that we HAVE to get a better fence. Kazz and Brise came home after about 5 minutes with the other two dogs. Vinze...was nowhere to be found. He had a head start and decided to pick this moment in time, with daddy missing and mommy barely hanging to sanity, to run about willy nilly for 15 minutes! Now I know 15 minutes doesn't seem like a long time to you...I know this...but ummm Brise and Kazz didn't see him ANYWHERE! I waited, my heart sunk, my soul went into lock down, my body went numb and when I thought my mind was going to blow, and 911 was nearly called, here comes Vinze all happy faced walking toward the house.
"WHERE WERE YOU?! WHAT IN THE WORLD?! WHERE WERE YOU?!"
"I was looking for the dogs." He said all aglow with grown up, walking around the town all by myself happiness.
I couldn't talk any more. After about a 3 hour nap, I was able to explain to him that he is NOT allowed to "look for the dogs" without his older brothers. I have NO IDEA where he was really. He had no destination where I could have checked up on him. I am NOT that kind of mom. He could have been traipsing down I-94 for all I know. I'm sure it went in one ear and out the other. He ran after the dog again that evening. I reminded him again, NOT to do that. I think the newness of running after them and the fun of getting out of the house again after a long winter is causing his amnesia of "dog chasing rule number one." I
know he is growing up. He will be 8 in only 8 days, but when the dog is in view he streaks across the street, without looking for cars. He's still young, and chasing dogs through streets is still not safe for him, as I could plainly see.
Since then, my nerves have been a tad bit edgy. I haven't wanted to do much but sleep, eat and rest my aching leg. Why is that thing picking now to start hurting? UGH!
Yesterday morning started off the same as the day before yesterday. One of the twins got up very early. They were tooling around the house doing nothing...just...walking around aimlessly making pitter patter noises. I got up and put him back in his room with a hand held video game. (God invented those for my parenting style) Everyone was still sleeping so I laid my head back down for a minute... That is when the dogs began fiddling around. We couldn't let them out because they would have escaped...yet again...down this street because I had neglected to find the leashes and harnesses the day before so we could just leash them to a tree until the fence is fixed. I'm sure it was the nerve thing from the losing of our son that caused that mental lapse.
Vinnie was awake at that moment so I asked Vinnie to get them something to drink in a bowl from the kitchen while I go potty and get dressed. UNBEKNOWNST TO ME...He decided to open the back door and find something from outside to put water in...(hoping the dogs would escape so he could run around town no doubt) that didn't happen right away. Vinnie had left the door unlocked and it was Kole who opened it to let the dogs outside. The dogs did indeed escape our home BUT...
Dale, my wonderful neighbor, was outside IN our back yard, at that very moment, snow blowing the snow from our sidewalks! Dale was not just snow blowing the sidewalks around our home by the street but he came into our yard and cleared the walk from our back door to our vehicles so I and our children could walk safely to our car.
He listened to God in some way, I just know it. He took the extra step to go above and beyond and I'm sure that he did save me and my family from some sort of heartache that day. A dog could have been hit, our 7 year old could have been running after one or more dogs trying to have an adventure and have gotten hit, our 4 year old son, who opened the door, could have run out after his brother and gotten hurt or lost. It just so happened that as Dale had decided to take that extra step to clear our backyard sidewalks, the tide had turned in our home and our boys, FOR A MOMENT, thought it was okay to chase the dogs when they got loose.
Who knows what that moment could have been? I wasn't there to help, figure out a plan or even know the back door, with 3 locks, had somehow been opened by those too short to reach the top chain lock. I was getting dressed and they were wanting an adventure, much like the one the day before...but THIS TIME nobody was there to know right away. Nobody was there to hear them yell for help if the worst had happened. I was changing my clothes, they were headed out the door...That's all the time it takes..that split second in a road, down a street...the time to put on a pair of pants and socks.
To Dale it may have seemed like a very small thing to round up some dogs and help the kids put them in the house. It was no small thing to be sure.
After I scolded and warned and yelled (Kazz read this part and said I am making this sound way too nice. He had to get up and hear me yell and have a family meeting and I was in a terrible state of anger apparently...so there's the truth)... and I cooled down enough to call a family meeting early in the morning, I then gave out the dog chasing rules calmly to the now very wide eyed boys...I had a heart to heart with myself about buying yet another safety lock for our doors. I sat down, by myself and cried and released all this built up emotion from the week.
I've come out of this small, little hiccup in the grand scheme of life, with the knowing that God is in control. I've been trying to hold it all together, directing my life and the lives of my family. I've been directing and directing. It has dawned on me, yet again, that ultimately God is in control.
He has people in place to help when we need it. He has people ready to do what they are called to do...
Even if it's just to snow blow the neighbors yard because her husband has been gone 6 of the last 8 days. God puts angels in places when we really, really get overwhelmed and are unable to help ourselves in one very tipsy turvey moment of time.
Thank you Dale. After a week like yours, you still made enough time and mustered enough energy to reach out to others. I honestly believe it made a very big difference in our world that day. The boys would have gone after those dogs for sure. Thank you for being there.