Wednesday, December 29, 2010

everything i ever really needed to know

when i was growing up, a pink, laminated piece of paper was displayed on our refrigerator. a relic of my days in pigtails and ribbons, the paper was titled “everything i ever really needed to know, i learned in kindergarten.” the basis was that all of life’s key skills, such as compassion, sharing and kindness are learned alongside nap time and finger painting.

and i agree. to an extent. that many integral, vital traits and lessons in that classroom. that as we ride with training wheels, we are traveling at the speed of light. toward realization. maturity. heartaches and exultations. and kingergarten is the place that prepares us.

but last night, as i entered our little cottage and heard little paws on the wood floor and felt the soft impact of fur on my skirt, i realized something else.

everything i ever needed to know in adulthood, i learned from my dog. 

being loyal means being there. plain and simple. even when what you see or know is ugly. pablo  whimpers outside my bathroom door when i’m inside, scratches at the covers when i’m in bed and he’s on the floor, and serves as my shadow no matter where i go. i leave the room for one second, he’s behind me on my heels, lightning fast. if you want someone to love you, the first thing you’ve got to do is be loyal to them. gain their trust and ensure them—there’s nowhere that you can go that you will lose me. i swear.

you only get what you give. for every belly rub, extra dollop of peanut butter, and game of fetch i give to pablo, he gives me slobbery kisses, nose nudges under the covers, and smiles as wide as his face in return. because he knows a concept that is so difficult for humans to grasp. you can’t hug someone with your arms crossed. only when you open them up, wide as the sky, are you in the position to embrace and feel love.

when it’s time to rest, rest. don’t try to do a little play/rest juggle. just lay down, cross your hands under your chin, and let out a deep sigh from the bellows of your gut. because it’s beautiful and normal. and you’ll be ready to play with ten times the fervor when you’re done.

trust. even if it means you might get hurt or lost. just trust in people. every day, i hook on pablo’s leash and gently tug him outside, to a world that is new each morning. i lift him up, spin him around and even sometimes tie his ears in loose bows. and he can’t do anything about it. so he trusts. as humans, we have more of a choice. so choose trust.

God sends rain on the just and the unjust. no one is immune to sad times, hard feelings or even, bad hair days.

celebrate the little things. every little achievement, victory or half birthday. because life’s too short, yes, but also because that’s what life is. life is not work. life is not play. life is those little moments and celebrations that happen in the middle of those two extremes. it’s a gorgeous thing, too.

when you’re scared, don’t be afraid to show it.

no matter how unbeautiful or unworthy you feel right now, you are. you are special. there is no such thing as a lost cause. we picked pablo up looking like this.

never be afraid to add a little flair to your wardrobe. it’s what keeps life interesting, colorful and playful.

love your mama. she’s the only one you’ve got.

i have a college degree and i'm getting ready to start graduate school this spring, but the best education i’ve ever received came from a bichon with four paws and a tail.


Thisisme said...

Vintch - such wonderful words, as always. That little Pablo is just so adorable, and he obviously bring you so much joy. I've just returned from my family in Paris, and they have a little French Bulldog called Alfred, who is 8 months old, and he is adorable as well.

Casey said...

Your bichon is ridiculously adorable!!!

It's so crazy but true that so many of life's lessons really can be learned from taking care of animals. :)

Another amazing post!


Ana* said...

Your Pablo is super cute! The photos are adorable. It's ironic how the most important lessons are learned on the most unexpected places sometimes.


Candice said...

Aww Pablo is so charming! I loved this post; what great lessons to learn, and the teacher is such a lovely example for us :)
Have a wonderful week!

Shalyn said...

LOVE THIS! I completely agree with everything you wrote- dogs are so precious and just on this earth to LOVE.

lindsay said...

oh your little pablo is such a joy...and obviously brings so much happiness into your life! thank you for sharing your love for this little makes me smile big!!


Kaity Teer said...

so precious!!
so excited for you as you start grad schooll!! what will you be studying?

bethani said...

pablo is so cute and full of expression.. it is amazing how great & perceptive dogs really are, yet so many of us take the time to realize it.

Blondie's Journal said...

Wonderful post. The pictures went so well with what you wrote! Beautiful, as always!


mskanorado said...

I love this post so much - you haven't the slightest clue! I was thinking about these exact things within the last few days! I can't believe how I read your blog this morning and couldn't believe this post, so perfect! We are on the same brain wave on this one! We really and truly learn all we need to from our dogs! By the way your dog Is darling! I love Bichons - I have one too!

Jen said...

Look at the 'lil puppy... ADORABLE!!!

Happy Wednesday Darling! xo

I'm doing a perfume giveaway right now if you're interested!

Kimbirdy said...

aaaawww! :) that's so cute.

Diana Smith said...

I have never thought of that before, you really do learn everything in kindergarten haha thats cute!

Ashley said...

Oh my goodness. THis is the most beautiful post! I have such a soft spot in my heart for furry four legged friends...and have always counted my dog as one of my favorite "people".

Your puppy sure is cute, and he reminds me so much of my little maltese. I love the pic of his bad hair day.

Thank for writing this awesome blog. The kindness in your heart just spills into your words..and then right out of my computer screen. You are amazing.

Amber Blue Bird said...

my pup oliver has taught me so much too. I love his little furry butt. Like right now, i am trying to get some blogging in and he is curled up on my lap taking a nap...maybe he has the right idea

Grace said...

oh pablo is adorable. seriously dogs are and will always be a person's best friend.

Amy said...

You, my friend, are by far one of my most favorite bloggers to follow after reading this post. As I've grown up, my dogs have truly been a huge part of my life. Every story I look back on I can say "such and such happened and Daisy|Edisto|Duke|Chopper|Lady was there with me." My dogs are and were a huge part of my life. They have taught me so much and each and every lesson is valuable. Thank you for your sweet writings that hit so close to home.
Love to you FRIEND :)

Sandy a la Mode said...

hey sweetie!!! i LOVE your blog and that kindergarten quote is too cute!! here's to a happy new year!

Perfect Peace said...

As a teacher, I love love love the "Everything I needed to know I learned in Kindergarten" story, but I have got to say, I am in love with you twist on it. Your pup is precious, and he is obviously veryyy loved by his mommy :)

I'm AE Jones said...

Amen. I couldn't agree more. Love my mama.

charla beth said...

oh my goodness, this is one of my favorite posts ever. i love the creativity and thought you put into it and ALL these pictures made me smile! especially the one with pablo digging into that cake. :)

what a sweet post.

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