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new puppy and pool 034New Puppy Sunday


Ok. So technically my birthday is not for another week and 3 days—yes, I am counting down with precision. And I am conflicted about how to feel about this particular milestone of a birthday. I am, now, going to unabashedly do what women everywhere (according to who?) are never mean to do—talk about my actual age.


Not my “health age” like they estimate in one of those quizzes you can take where, invariably, I end up being something like 102 years old with my chronic conditions, asthmatic tendencies, cholesterol issues since 7, sprain-able ankles, and so on. No, I would like to talk for a moment about my real, numbers on a page, rings on a tree, years on this earth, age. In ten days I will be thirty years old.


It is one of those random milestones that sort of sits in between childhood and midlife. I am not supposed to have a “Where did my life go?” crisis. I am not supposed to be curious about what I am going to be when I grow up. I am in some sort of age limbo, but at a number that is supposed to have some significance to it, some meat on its bones: a sense of purpose and simultaneous self-reflection.


Although some (again who are these people?!) would say I should be thinking about having children with earnestness and eagerness and hopes it’s not too late, I am perfectly content, for the moment, with my semi-defunct womb with tubal scar tissue. I mean I would prefer it didn’t cause me so much daily pain but I am not feeling a need to fill it with baby bits just yet. I think I have to get out of the stage, first, of calling newborns “it” instead of the appropriate he/she identifier. Even in babies I am in a bit of a limbo—which I guess, in some ways, suits this thirty year in-between birthday.


I am not, for perhaps the first time in my life, feeling an identity crisis or vacancy in my heart in that way that I would when birthdays came around. Thinking of a faceless birthmother, an anonymous birthfather, and wondering about (in a very weighty existential kind of way) how I got where I got in life—feeling a sense of duty to earn the life I had while also feeling a sense of bitterness from not knowing from whence I came. I am not certain what to attribute this shackle-free birthday sensation as it is entirely new to me. Maybe it has to do with starting my own family with my husband. Maybe it has to do with feeling chock full of identity and purpose these days. Maybe it is just the completely exhausting chaos and mayhem that has been life lately: full of moves, dogs, living alone in a new house with a new job. It is probably all of these things and maybe sprinkles of other stuff I have yet to explore. Maybe it is even pervasive, unending, medicating sunshine therapy.


TGIF=Thank god it’s Florida.


So amid the crisis of a birthday that is sort of crisis-less (besides the ominous certitude of being in a new decade of ages) I decided I needed to give myself a sort of corvette-of-the-thirties kind of gift. Apparently, for me, the equivalent birthday present to a sports car for the thirties is …a baby Jack Russell Terrier. My husband has officially dubbed me “The Crazy Dog Lady.” And maybe I am, but I’m an adult and I will own that title and wear that puppy biscuit ringed crown with pride. So here I am, perhaps insane, definitely deluded, 10 days from thirty and far from serenity with a three dog household and my version of a baby on board.


Her name is Grace which was not meant to be ironic but it is rapidly proving to be just that since we brought her home yesterday afternoon.


Dropping my husband off at the airport at 5:30am this morning and returning home to try to get a quick moment of rest (as it was a bumpy, three-dog- in-a-king-sized-bed, kind of night) and laying in bed with a baby Jack Russell on my chest, a Beagle/Pug on my abdomen, and a Pitbull/Lab over my shins I realized, a little bit, just how insane I might be—if not clinically then definitely in the area of canines.


Crazy dog lady—that’s me. Nearly thirty and dogful and proud of it. It feels pretty good. Let’s see what I say by next Thursday especially if I am still abundantly dog-full and husband-less. But I can say that thus far thirty is going to definitely be “The year of the dog” in my life if not technically so on the Chinese calendar.


new puppy and pool 013


There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.

Ben Williams 

October 2009


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