Happy Mother’s Day to those who are celebrating! Happy Sunday to those who are not!
It has been quite a week. There was such an emotional swing this week that it left all three of us feeling empty and a bit lost.
It started Sunday morning with the terrible news that one of the dance dads at the studio died in a horrible car accident on Saturday night. Holly dances with his stepdaughter, and his sister-in-law is one of the studio’s owners. Plus, he has two little girls of his own – ages five and three – who love to dance and were fixtures at the studio with their mom, dad, and aunt. This father helped build props, drove the prop-filled trailer to all of the competitions last year, and helped build the studio from floor to ceiling. It is a tragic loss to the family and the studio. The memorial service was Friday evening. It made for a hard week.
The thing is that in spite of the tragedy, the entire team rallied around the family and danced their hearts out on Sunday, including the stepdaughter. Some of the songs this year are incredibly emotional, but they kept it together and provided the emotional support they needed to get through all of them. It was astounding. At fourteen, Holly was the oldest dancer on the stage for the team that day. For a group of tweens and teens to show that much maturity on stage and off speaks volumes about their training and professionalism. They embodied the word team on Sunday, and I don’t think I was the only parent proud of that fact.
Wednesday was my birthday, for which I took a vacation day. I had no plans. Holly was at school, and Jim had to work. It was probably one of the coldest and gloomiest birthdays I have had in recent years, which made it perfect for staying inside, cuddling with my puppy, and reading. I finished two books before I switched to TV and cross-stitching. Unfortunately, we had to eat dinner late because Jim and Holly did not have time to make it before she had dance classes, but it was delicious. So was the cheesecake they bought from what some consider the best bakery in Milwaukee. They managed to surprise me with presents this year too – which never happens. It doesn’t sound like much, but it was perfect for what I wanted and needed.
Another downer is the fact that Cletus got overly aggressive with Tallulah again and drew blood. The last time he did this was over Christmas when he degloved a portion of her ear after defending his food bowl. We spent the next three months working with an animal behaviorist, who told us that Cletus is incredibly anxious, especially around his sister, and has major guarding issues with things he feels are his – food, certain toys, his person. The behaviorist showed us how to work with him to get him to relax, showed us the signs for when he might start guarding, i.e., attack, and in general reassured us that Cletus is still trainable and not a lost cause by any means because he has not once gone for her throat. If he were serious about protecting his things, the damage would be much, much worse. So, I am trying to look at the bright side of this week’s aggression. He has been so good for so long that something about the training was working. He again only got her ear and nose, and the blood was minimal. As terrible as it sounds when he gets aggressive, I remain convinced he is only warning her. Still, it is incredibly upsetting this happens at all, and it means we do not trust him at all around other dogs. It is also a wake-up call to get serious again about the training.
And then we come to the weekend, which included an open calendar and decent weather. Holly is making all of today’s meals for me, and both Holly and Jim took care of the chores this week. It means a relaxing, quiet weekend with my favorite people, where we all get the chance to catch our breath after this past dance season. In other words, exactly like my birthday, it is what I need right now.
I hope everyone is spending the day exactly how you want and that the weather is cooperating for you. I also wish you all a stress-free and book-filled work week. Take care, and I will see you back here next week!
Here are past posts from the last few weeks in case you missed them the first time: