My husband planned a date night last weekend. One that would particularly interest me because it involved tickets to the Christmas folk dance festival at BYU. I love those sorts of things. I love dance and music, and once–long ago in my past–I was a pretty good dancer myself. Those days are so over, but it’s nice to know they existed.
We left the kids in charge of the store and commenced to enjoy an evening OUT. Rae called to get a little help with the gas pumps since they weren’t cooperating. And while Mr. Wright was on the phone with her, having a calm, rational conversation about how to fix things, she screamed into the phone, “Copper’s dead!”
Copper is the family dog. More specifically, Copper is *Rae’s* dog. More specifically, Copper has very much become *my* dog. I love that animal like crazy.
Copper was hit by a car. Merks carried her broken little body into the store. And on the phone, an hour and a half away, Mr. Wright and I listened to our children’s anguish, and there was nothing we could do. We cried with them, but we also had to calm down the hysterics, the shrieking, the wailing, the begging for us to fix what isn’t fixable.
They’re all so little still–at least, they *seem* little to me. One’s already driving, the others are fast approaching that, but I hated they were dealing with traumatic grown-up problems on their own. I hated not being there to hold them, rock them, cry with them in person.
But they did deal with it. Bing asked for a prayer for Copper. The three of them closed the store, wrapped her in a blanket, joined together and prayed for their little dog. Rae, realizing she was in charge until we could get home, really took charge–in a way I don’t think I could have when I was her age. She had them say their goodbyes, and herded the boys home to put up the Christmas tree (an act of service for me, since I’d had hand surgery the day previous and couldn’t decorate), and spend an evening comforting each other.
Being the adult sucks muddy rocks sometimes. You have to do things that are hard. You have to do things you don’t want to do–things you want to pawn off on somebody, anybody, else.
And my three little children did the adult thing that night. They handled it and were really there for each other. So while it’s hard losing a little dog that became so much a member of our family, it’s good to know that the kids can come through a crisis without adult supervision.
They’re growing up. So. Fast. I blink, and they’re taller. I blink, and they’re driving, stretching, growing. And they’ve proven they’ll be able to handle growing up–even when it’s hard. Even as I’m blinking away tears.