Living in southern California is great. Being stuck at a desk all day there is nothing I love more then going outside at the end of the day and feeling the sun warm my soul. Living in this wonderful state allows me to that nearly 365 days of the year.
Finding the balance between what I have to do every day (work) and what I want to do (not work) is probably one the biggest reasons why we have our dining table outside our house- big enough for us all to sit come mealtime. I love when all the kids are home and we have our family dinners out under our big Magnolia tree and talk as the sun goes down and evening falls around us. Except for the damn dog.
Our neighbors have this insane, barking all the time, amazingly uncontrolled dog. I love animals. I hate this dog. There are two key times I truly hate this canine, the first is at 7:30 on a Sunday morning. MY Sunday morning. The one morning of the week were I know I can sleep in. At least I used to. Now I am awoken by this terrible animal and find myself threatening to throw anything I can find in its direction as I yell obscenities and curse our neighbors and their lack of discipline to their pet. It seems nothing quiets this pest.
The other key time that this dog rubs me raw is the blessed evenings when I can finally step away from my computer and listen to the children as they tell me anything and everything. Imagine a warm sunny day as the sun begins to descend over the horizon, a light breeze rustles past toying with your legs and ruffling your hair. No TV, no computer, video games, or phones. Just you and the the voice of the future. Don’t forget to imagine the laughter, oh how we love to laugh!
Just the other night as we all sat and fell into our evening routine this crazed beast started in on its homage of life. Now imagine within that perfect evening, a loud piercing howl (like a hound) but deep and then shrill (like a parrot) so as to hit all auditory nerves and species. Over and over and over again. We have all tried to quiet this beast. Yelled “NO” until we were blue in the face, prayed for a freak event to tear out its voice box and allow us some peace. But saying no to it just seems to alert him into high gear stepping up its quest into overdrive and double time.
I was so frustrated that evening that I just stared in its general direction (this of course a bad attempt to use the force and persuade the dog to shut the hell up) That is about the moment when my step son yelled at the top of his eleven year old voice “shut up!!”
I immediately began to talk to him for using that form of language. True, its not the harshest word, but for eleven it might as well have been. That is when I noticed my step son smile and stare right at me. I also noticed something else. Silence. The dog had actually stopped barking endlessly. Stopped. Done. Finished.
All this time we had gone hoarse from screaming “no” when we really should have been just a bit more graphic with our words. We all looked at him in awe and then one by one we began to laugh.
Tomorrow I plan on sitting with my step son and asking what else he knows that I am oblivious of. My daughter promises I will be amazed.