Thursday, May 13, 2010

Difficult Choices

I am right in the midst of a heart-wrenching parenting challenge...making a decision that is for my children's ultimate safety but requires their short-term pain. I have certainly made hundreds of unpopular decisions in the last 5 years, but today's has been of a different sort.

The pound puppy we adopted a couple of months ago needs a new home.

I cried this afternoon once the decision was made. I have really enjoyed this little dog. 

Tonight I had to tell my children that we were looking for another home for Bandit. The boys took the news OK, but K was absolutely crushed. Her little lip started quivering and her eyes filled with tears. Her reaction broke my heart.

I tried my best to explain that it was for the ultimate good of the family that we were doing this. Her reply was, "But, Mom, I promise I will be careful wiff her." 

Like the Beth Moore lesson from yesterday's post, I had to remind K that I love her and am for her. My heart is hurting too. 

I am prideful. I don't like to feel like a quitter. I wanted there to be an alternative we could all feel OK about, but it appears that this is what is best for our family. So, today I feel like a failure as a 'pet adopter' but know where my ultimate loyalty lies.

It would be so much easier if Bandit was always menacing or obviously foaming at the mouth and crazy...but she isn't. She is a fluffy, perky, loyal little dog. As I was second guessing myself this evening we had another incident where she growled angrily and snapped at me. It was like a little gift from God of affirmation that this is the right thing--strength to look into my daughter's big, tear-filled brown eyes and do the hard thing.

As I held K in my lap, rubbed her little head and let her cry I knew there would be more moments like this as I parent--moments that call for courage, strength and steadfastness--even in the face of dissenting opinions and precious tears.

I know it is only a matter of time before instead of a puppy it is a love interest or a toxic friendship. 

Motherhood is NOT for wimps!

**With all due respect, there are times when I am open for advice in the comments, but this is not really one of them. It has been a family decision, made with our vet who has all the facts. It has been difficult, emotional decision and dissenting opinions will not really be helpful right now. Thanks for understanding.**