A Lesson from the Dog: Anticipation

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I finally snapped this photo of Rudolph in his daily pose – full of anticipation awaiting the arrival of my husband. ¬†If I could, I’d Insert the vintage Heinz commercial music here ūüôā ¬†He always knows when he’s coming home and runs to the front door, bumps up the curtain and stares out waiting for his human daddy to arrive. ¬†It’s so genuine and yet another reason to¬†love our dogs. ¬†Who else is so happy to see you day after day? ¬†For Rudolph, anticipation is almost always followed by pure bliss.

As I was working on¬†this post,¬†I realized how much time I’ve spent waiting these past few days¬†as well. ¬†Although I don’t have a cute photo of myself waiting because I wasn’t always a happy camper! ¬†My youngest was finally diagnosed with walking pneumonia after eight days of high fever and no energy, and so most of the past ten days all I’ve done is check temperature, administer medicine, and wait. ¬†And go to the doctor multiple times wondering why he was getting worse, why the “sinus infection” wasn’t a sinus infection, and why the antibiotics weren’t working. ¬†Then we’d go back home¬†and rest. ¬†He’s missed the start of school, practices with his new soccer team, and the Tennessee Titans first preseason football game:¬†the small, yet important,¬†things an eight-year-old waits on all summer. ¬†As parents, we’ve been waiting for that spark of life to jump back into his eyes, waiting for a sign that he’s back to his old crazy self.

He’s recovering¬†slowly but surely, and I feel so lucky and happy that his illness is treatable and temporary. ¬†The time we spent waiting in Vanderbilt children’s hospital for his chest X-ray this week was a true life lesson. ¬†Mack’s eyes were wide watching all the little kids wait for their scans. ¬†We saw a family wearing t-shirts that said “Cancer Sucks!” and heard them talk to another mom about her son who is 3 and in remission. ¬†Mack innocently asked me if kids can get cancer. ¬†We’ve lost a grandfather to cancer, and have my sister (his aunt) who is a cancer survivor, so he is well aware of cancer as a disease. ¬†But he’d never seen the disease affect a child, someone like him. ¬†Our small time waiting to find out if he had pneumonia pales in comparison to what these families are waiting on. Their strength was amazing.

So we’ve learned a lot about waiting this month. ¬†Hopefully, we can also learn from Rudolph and spend a little time¬†each day full of anticipation, followed by¬†joy, as we run to our friends and loved ones.