I was reminded this weekend that there will come a day in the not so distant future that will break my family’s heart. You see, my first “baby” is 13 years old. And for him, that is old. He has grown a gray beard and is starting to lose his hearing. He still plays like a puppy, but has trouble getting up the stairs. This weekend his eye was bleeding (vet said he was fine though). My husband Paul, and I know we don’t have a lot of time left with him, but our children have not realized what it means to not have our precious Jimmy.
Jimmy was there when we brought each of them home from the hospital. He kept looking at family members coming and going with a face that clearly said “Are you taking that thing (baby) home with you?” When everyone had left, he laid down next to each of them, let out a sigh, and became their best friend.
When my daughter was sick or hurt, she never wanted mommy. She would call for Jimmy. Hugs from him made her feel better, soothed her fears, or calmed her down. She learned to read by reading to him.
When my son wants to play, Jimmy is right there chasing his heels, barking up a storm. Jimmy will hang out with him outside the whole time, protecting him, watching him, or just being by him.
Jimmy adopted us as much as we adopted him. And when the time comes to say good-bye to our first “kid,” our hearts will be broken, and there will be no Jimmy to make us feel better.