the simple minded suburbanite


A Small Price to Pay
March 18, 2011, 12:15 pm
Filed under: gratitude, suburban | Tags:

Shirley pooped on the floor, again.  “Watch where you step!” I yelled to the kids as they tumbled in the front door, throwing backpacks, tossing shoes, and clawing their way to the snack basket.

But, my own brain, it surprised me.  I almost looked over my shoulder to see if someone was speaking to me from the foyer behind me.  “It’s a small price to pay,” my brain said to me as I bent to clean up the mess and proceeded to checked the bottoms of everyone’s shoes. “A small price to pay,” I said, this time aloud, and I paused from my eternal state of motion and gave small thanks to the universe for this sweet, old dog who is approaching 15years old and for the quiet joys she has brought to our lives.  Rescued from the pound, I taught her to eat from her bowl by putting one nugget of dog food in my hand at a time, allowing her to take it from me as I inched closer and closer to her dish.  I thought of  our first place together, a slapped up apartment with a view of the parking lot in which Shirley would put her paws up on the back of our pullout couch and rest her head, waiting for my husband or I to come home from work.  How when we pulled up, her ears would perk, smile-almost and she leapt down to meet us at the door.  I thought how she gingerly sniffed each of our newborn sons when we brought them home and how she followed me room from room while I paced and soothed them to sleep.

“A small price to pay,” I thought for all of her sweetness and all of her doggie patience as she slowing dropped a rung or two over the years as my life grew more intense;  she rarely asked for much other than the occasional pat on the head when I finally flopped down on the couch or a brief acknowledgement on the nights, while up with the babies, I would return to find that she had saucily placed herself on my bed pillow where I could NOT breeze past her.

And I thought of all of the other small prices I pay and how these little frustrations are so worth what I get in return. So, I turned to pick up the backpacks and put them in the closet and I lined up little shoes at the door. Tossed the granola bar wrappers strewn over my kitchen table.   I opened up the window, I mean it smelled bad in there!  and, once again, gave thanks and vowed to remember that all of my frustrations, my irritations, the tightenings in my chest are really small, small prices to pay…but that dump Shirley took, that was huge!

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