Can I sleep with you, Mom?

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You know how in movies and TV shows, we see little kids climb into bed with their parents when they can’t sleep. Maybe this happens in real life, too, but how would we know, right? This morning when I got up at 5:30 to use the restroom, I heard my dog Annie shaking her tags outside the door. Darn. She was already up, despite my trying to sneak in and out. Usually I would take her outside, feed her and start my day, but it was too early, even if it is daylight in Oregon this time of year. I wanted to go back to bed. Plus I felt guilty because I’m leaving on a trip tomorrow. Annie will have a dog- and house-sitter whom she adores, but it’s not the same. So I got into bed, patted the covers and Annie flew into place beside me.
Oh, she was a happy dog, licking my face and thumping her tail. She lay her head on my shoulder, and I thought, wow, this feels good. However, there’s a good reason I don’t usually let my dog share my bed. Okay, two good reasons. One is fleas, but I thought she was flea-free right now. The other is that my dear 80-pound dog-daughter cannot lie still when she’s with me. She flaps her tail and paws at me unless I keep rubbing her belly. Sleep? Forget about it. I turned on the radio, and we listened to oldies while I pet her until 6:00. Then we got up. I fed her and turned on my computer while she went back to sleep. Last time I looked, she was in deep snooze mode. Me, I’ll be falling asleep at my desk all day.
But that’s dog-motherhood for you. It felt amazing having someone to hold–like a child but furrier. I’m sleepy, and I have a flea bite on my back and some tiny bruises on my breast where Annie got me with her nails when I stopped petting her. Now I’m afraid she’ll want to join me every morning. Bad mommy.
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7 thoughts on “Can I sleep with you, Mom?

  1. Love the picture of Annie! There is no way to resist such an adorable cutie like that.

    Last night, I washed my 11 pound dachshund in the utility room sink and then wrapped her wet little body in a big bath towel to hoist her out. She looked up at me and licked my nose when we sat in a chair to dry her belly and silky ears. We were both so content. I thank God every day for this little dog.

    I am also grateful for the dog trainer he gave to me when I rescued her from a shelter. She had some issues to work on so we spent two years in training. I realize now that I could have been a terrific parent if my husband would have stepped out in faith to adopt children. For now, I am satisfied with my fur child and the good that I am able to do for other people's children.

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  2. Sue,

    I completed my reading of “Childless by Marriage,” last night. First, thank you from the bottom of my heart, for sharing your story. I felt as though I was reading a reflection of what my own life might become (good or bad- not sure just yet). There's upsides and down sides to any choice we make in life, but some just seem so unbearably painful…

    I am soon to be 29 years old, married to a man 15 years my senior, with two stepdaughters, 15 and 11. My husband and I dated for about 2 years, on again, off again due to the ever-present “elephant in the room,” of whether he was willing to have more children. We broke up last in September 2011, when he had finally decided that he just couldn't see himself becoming a father again. After 1 month apart, he decided he could't bear living without me, swept me off my feet with a marriage proposal and serious promise of “giving me all the children my heart desires.” After marrying Dec 2011, close to a year of trying to conceive, he had a sperm analysis performed and determined he has such a minute count it is next to impossible biologically. Fertility treatment is out of the question to him and he has regretably assured me as of about two weeks ago, that he has had a change of heart, once again, and is sure he does not want any more children. I feel absolutely heartbroken, even betrayed at moments. I am madly in love with this man, who is a wonderful husband… but now faced with what seems to be the ultimate lose-lose life choice… Save my marriage, or my dream of becoming a mother?? I wish the answer were clear and easy. But it seems that's just not what life is all about…

    What hurt most to read in your book, was the later years, where the husband is gone and the stepchildren are distant. I liken my potential future to this and it just rips my heart out to know I could be so alone … There again, lots of folks end up alone in their old age, with biological children who don't reach out to them… You never can tell.

    I am in the midst of a MAJOR life changing decision. All I can find myself doing is looking for answers in others' stories, holding tight to faith and just praying for answers.

    Your story is such a blessing to so many, I'm sure. Until I found it, I felt so alone. We surely can find comfort in other who walk similar paths in life. Thank you!

    – Broken-hearted in AZ

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  3. Dear Broken-hearted,
    I'm so sorry it worked out this way. It seems like it often happens that couples argue about whether or not they want to have children, then find they have fertility problems, which makes it nearly impossible anyway. I can't tell you what to do. You are young enough to start with someone else, but if he's the man for you, maybe it's worth the sacrifice. I don't know. Thank you for your kind words about my book. I'm glad you liked it.
    While you're worrying about the future, know that my best friend here has three kids and seven grandchildren but rarely sees any of them, so . . .
    I wish you all the best.

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  4. Sue,

    Thank you for your response. I have been anxiously awaiting your wise words since I posted this morning. I'll keep you posted… You definitely have another loyal blog follower.

    Formerly Anonymous Broken-hearted in AZ,

    Alana

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