Thursday, June 10, 2010

Best of Friends

These two have been best friends since 1999, back when we lived in an apartment in the Yellow House.

Ernie is still holding his own these days. Hobbling a bit more, he occasionally bottoms out when hopping up on the deck, and sometimes he pants a whole lot, but the vet says he's hanging in there and doing quite well for a 3-legged beagle of his age.

When I adopted Ernie way back when, I had visions of pulling both Hattie and Ernie in our red Radio Flyer wagon. Ha!

Little did I know that Ernie would be the Masked Avenger of our neighborhood, digging his way out (one-pawed, no less) of our fence in under 5 minutes flat. I soon became known as the "3 Legged Dog Lady," and many nice neighbors knew exactly who to return him to. Although Ernie quickly learned that if he went to the blue house 2 streets over, the kind widow there would hook him out to an outdoor porch leash and leave him with goodies while he waited for us to collect him.

Watching these two grow up together, loving to play together, fills my heart and makes my eyes grow Misty. As Ernie ages, Hatfield is becoming a lovely young woman, both in body and spirit.

Strong and steady, friendly and calm, Hatfield shows a maturity unmatched by most 11-year olds. She is quite responsible, yet in many ways still a little girl, loving to play with her Littlest Pets, American Girls and Build-a-Bears. I'm not complaining--let her be a girl as long as she can, and I am grateful that homeschool encourages such a childhood.

American tweens are growing up way too fast in my opinion, exposed to crap beyond the capabilities of their emotional processing. Reading headlines like this one about 5 risky behaviors engaged in by teens, just leaves me shaking my head. While Hatfield isn't exposed to most of the problems found in the halls of most middle schools, she is getting a real education in terms of living with traumatized siblings. She has witnessed things that very few other kids have, and I'm proud to say that I see my girl growing up with a real sense of empathy, coupled with the ability to let things roll of her back. Often I find myself attempting to model her sense of plucky calm.

The Mister is fixing to head out for a week-long business trip, and I scored when my sister gave me a heads up to next week's free Vacation Bible School at the very nice church just down the street. I enrolled the youngest four, and look forward to having Hatfield to myself for 3 hours each day next week, giving us a chance to work on her bedroom, shop and enjoy a walk or two with our favorite 3-legged Wonder Dog.


Sawatzky family said...

What a wonderful post Sarah! What a blessing you have in that beautiful girl :)
Enjoy your time together next week!

bbbunch said...

She is such a beautiful soul, Sarah. This was a really a great post. We love our Hattie!

Have fun next week! ;)

Anonymous said...

Hattie, like you, becomes lovelier each day, inside out.

Ernie, like me, gets crankier and fatter each day!

=Mr. Chunky (and funky!)