In big and small ways, we seem to be in the right places lately.
Take the Ides of March (15th)--while walking with the family, a woman pulls up and asks if we have "seen anyone walking this dog." There's a black lab wagging in her backseat. She had found him on a chain, wrapped figure-eight style around a stop sign and a street sign. He has no tags.She is taking him to the vet to be scanned for an ID chip.
A second ticks by and a dozen things flash through my mind--mostly that I had just the night prior told Rob that, after many weeks of thinking about it, reading articles and a book about it, and looking breeds up online, I feel like having a dog again, six years after Newton passed away.
I tell her that if she doesn't find his owner, to call us. The next day, she calls. We can have him for the rest of the ten day waiting period that Animal Control mandates for lost/abandoned animals. But, someone may claim him. We say, "Yes" and bring home an underfed but docile black lab.
The kids cannot believe their luck. One day we are four, the next day we are bringing home a DOG?! REALLY?!
When we visit Helen, our friend and my cleaning client, Madelyn spends the whole time with Willow, her rescued Golden Retriever. Madelyn is proving just as attentive with our new charge, throwing the tennis ball or frisbee for him in the backyard, using scoop bags to pick up his droppings, patiently walking him back and forth in front of the house to teach him to "heel." She's dutiful, that girl. Nate loves him, but Nate's more into whatever doesn't take that much work, like reclining next to the dog on the floor. Nate chose the name, however, which means baker: Baxter.
And speaking of baking, we made bread last week for history in conjunction with learning about the agricultural revolution of prehistoric humankind. It was flour and water bread, kneaded, flattened and baked. Nate declared it "the best bread" he's ever had and ate his share by dipping it in plain water and biting off the damp end. This boy would fare well in prison if this counts as good eatin'. A few days later, we made a standard loaf, as a comparison. Yeast requires a lot more waiting. Amazing what a little bacteria will make you do; it took hours between start time and the eating. Rob explained how the gas by-product of the yeast makes the air bubbles, which was hilarious to us-- yeast fart bread. Yummmmm.
In smaller ways, we were in the right places just being out and about. At the laundromat, doing all our bed comforters, I asked to watch the attendant crochet a blanket. This lead to her compliment about my kids' behavior at the laundromat and how pleased she was to "see them reading." I explained that they had to read before being allowed to play on the arcade games on site--a treat for them in this era of hand-held DS games. This lead to the homeschool revelation, which lead to her sharing about her grandchild's disability and the mother's consideration of homeschooling.
Onward to lunch at our favorite spot, where the owner asked, kindly, about whether the kids had no school today. When I confessed to homeschooling, his eyes widened and warmed. "That's just wonderful," he said. He went on to share that his daughter wants to homeschool his grandchildren someday, and he wants to help. I gestured around us, to his establishment, and said, "Bring them here. This is an education!"
Both encounters yielded compliments about the kids' behavior "compared to most." I know it doesn't matter what others think, but the public school-raised me sits a bit taller when another adult compliments my "work."
Perhaps we are adding to their confidence, too, being living examples of what is just an idea at this point in their lives.
Some days we are just in the right place.
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