We love dogs, all dogs. Little dogs, big dogs, doesn’t matter, anything furry, really. If we could, we would have several more. In the evenings after work, we like to take the pups outside and let them run around, chase balls and each other, roll and tumble and explore. At our stage in life, they are our zen. The cares of the world and our work-a-day lives melt away.
Babies are the human version of puppies; cute, disarming, and cuddly. My husband’s son and his wife brought their new baby over for a visit last weekend. They live a state away so we don’t see them on a regular basis. We tend to forget how little babies are, how much work and effort go into having little ones around, but the joy far outweighs the effort. My advice to parents with new babies; enjoy every moment of the ride, it goes by incredibly fast. Don’t miss the miraculous and extraordinary in favor of clean floors and folded laundry. Borrowing a well-known phrase, don’t sweat the small stuff because it’s all small stuff.
Pups and babies have a lot in common. Both are vulnerable and tend to bring out the softer side of humans, even those who are a bit prickly around the edges. Who can resist puppy licks and baby coos and wiggles? Pups and babies are time-consuming, a lot more work than one would expect from beings so little. They fill any space with joy. And, they also teach us about God and ourselves. My former mother-in-law used to say God gave us babies so when they were teenagers parents could reminisce about the times when we liked them. Tongue-in-cheek humor, but accurate.
The little and vulnerable give us perspective, coax us out from self-absorption. Too many in our world are self-absorbed, miss the miraculous and extraordinary, cannot see beyond the mountains created from molehills. We create prisons for ourselves with our thoughts and words. We choose to see the negative instead of reveling in gratitude. Many are dealing with crises in life, not of their doing; crises knock us down for the count, sometimes. Life can be difficult; no argument there. God is with us in the trenches, self-imposed or not, but God expects us to step out of the trenches at some point, to see the bigger picture thus the reason for puppies and babies. I guess one could say they are God’s bread crumbs so we find our way out of the trenches…..