Saturday...because it's rained all day, Beve's been home. He went out this morning to look at a new lawn mower (he already owns five, I think, but one can never have too many lawn mowers!), and to buy bones for the dogs. I'm talking giant beef joints. Jackson loves them, carts them from pillar to post, guards them from any would-be interlopers (namely, Jamaica) with his life. Deep growls and snaps tend to hover in the air when he's gnawing on a bone. Jamaica loves these meaty bones, too, but she's too little to hold them in her mouth, so her only choice is to hope Jackson walks away and she can take over his. This behavior is flipflopped when there are rawhides around. Jackson, who has the softest mouth you can imagine for a 110 lb. lab, doesn't like rawhides until they're soft and juicy, which only happens when Jamaica has chewed on them for a while. She leaves of rawhide for an instant, and he swoops in and carries it off.
We're easily entertained around here, you can tell. Jamaica also went to the groomer this afternoon. Taking her to get a haicut is like taking a small child to get shots. The minute she realized where we were she jumped back into the car and curled into a ball, as if thinking she'd become invisible. Beve and I together drug her out of the car and into the groomers', where she stood upright with her front paws on the counter, whining at the tiny dog being clipped. When the groomer took her through the gate, Maica slid on her hind end, pulling away frantically. Two and a half hours later, we had a new dog with all her freckles showing. So adorable. But she was pretty mad at us. At home, after greeting Jackson like they'd been separated for months rather than hours, Maica sped into her kennel and sat in the back corner. We couldn't coax her out even for food. Maybe she felt embarrassed by having lost all her curls.
I know all about bad haircuts. Last week on J's birthday, he let a friend cut his hair--now it's kind of a modified mohawk, only wider and not standing up straight. He's had to leave it all week because they shaved the sides, and he didn't want to be a skinhead. He's been telling us all week about the dirty looks he's gotten from people. No one has actually said anything aloud...well, except for my mother whom he went to visit last weekend. She hadn't the faintest idea who he was, but still managed to chastize him about his hair. Some things are more deeply engrained than others, I guess.
And SK, who's been down in the Bay area this week, colored her hair a deep red. I haven't seen it yet, but I understand it's not quite glow in the dark. She also pierced her nose, which isn't something I'm very excited about, but it's better than a tattoo, I guess. Her brother told her if the only reason she wouldn't do it was because I'd be disappointed, that she should just go ahead. GREAT advice, I told J. What about honoring your parents? Sigh. Then this morning she texted me with a picture of a butterfly on the small of her back. "That had better be temporary," I told her. "Um...I think we need to talk...um" was her answer. "You'd better be kidding," I texted back. She was, thankfully.
All in all, I've been really aware of how much outside our control our kids are, now that they're all in their twenties. Maybe that's why we have dogs--so we still have some creatures in our house that we can control (or at least attempt to...they're pretty incorrigable dogs). I still want to have a say in my children's lives. And they are willing to talk to us about their hopes, dreams, plans. But we don't have quite the say we used to, when we could tell them what to eat, when to go to bed, make them do their homework. The hard part is, I don't feel any differently inside about them. I still feel like I have a stake in all of their choices, even in their physical bodies--you know, those bodies I once held, and even carried within. This growing up stuff is so stretching for us all. They're better at it than I was. Just as I was much better at it than my parents were with me.
It made me wonder, when I saw the picture of SK's nose with the tiny little charm through the nostril, how many choices I make that God is disappointed in. There's nothing morally wrong with that little earring in her nose. But I'm not a fan. So how many choices do I make--each day--that may be morally neutral but aren't what God intends for me? Like eating that extra cream-puff with hot fudge sauce--the one I really should know better than touch. There are plenty of things like that in my days. What about yours? "Tell God every detail of your needs," Paul tells us in Philippians. Do we take this seriously? Do we believe that He actually cares, and cares enough to be disappointed in us? I think he does. He cares for the hairs on our head, and the peircings on our noses...and many are the small things that pierce His heart for us as well.