This morning I found myself getting annoyed with my son’s alarm clock that had been going off for an hour. I was trying to read my devotional and the alarm kept going off. Then my dog, Shooter, started licking his paws. Better than other parts of his body but the licking sound was also ringing in my head. Alarm. Lick. Alarm. Lick. Alarm. Lick. I just want to read my devotional in the peace and quiet.
And then I was reminded how grateful I should be for those noises that were beginning to make me go crazy. (They are both still happening as I write.)
My son is sleeping in his room. He is my son because I married his dad when he was six. We have been a part of each other’s lives since he was two. When his dad left, he stayed with me. Because he is my son. Blood and marital situations don’t have to define relationships. And it doesn’t define ours. We navigated him finishing high school and then I sent him off to the Navy. And all the activity and buzz he brought to our home was gone. And it was quiet. Circumstances beyond his control ended his military dreams and he came back home. He regrouped, found a job (with insurance and benefits!) and is still at home with me for a while. He turns 20 next weekend so I know my days with him at home are numbered. So I will let the alarm clock keep ringing because it’s a reminder of the life and amazing human being – who is my son – on the other side of the door.
And then there is Shooter. Licking away and giving me a side glance because I am certain he knows the sound is annoying. And he’s most likely waiting for me to tell him to stop. But I won’t for now. Because this dog, when life got rough for a while, would lay beside me at night and put his paw on my shoulder as if to tell me I wasn’t alone in this. Dogs can feel emotion and assess situations that frankly many humans don’t pick up on. Some days he got the receiving end of my anger and sadness and nothing was his fault. I would yell or scream or cry at him and when it was bedtime, he would jump up beside me and lay his paw on my shoulder one more time. So lick away, Shooter.
I know I won’t have both of them in my daily life forever and I will miss the noises that they bring. The quiet will be too quiet some days. So I am going to embrace the alarm clock and licking noises. And maybe invest in some earplugs as a backup plan.