I hear him tell me that he’s happy for me. That I’m doing the right thing, going where I belong.
I hear her order me a celebratory drink, toasting my new adventure. One far different from the one I have been on.
I hear him say I would have been great here but he understands why I’m moving on. Tells me that I stood in the thin blue line, for however long, and I will always have brothers and sisters there.
I hear him tell me that he wants my future to be part of his, too, and I hear us make plans to make that happen. Shop for homes in a new place, talk about money plans, and what we want a year, two years, or more down the road. I’m struck by how adult this all seems and how incredibly ill-equipped I feel for this responsibility.
I hear them sing happy birthday as I celebrate another birthday.
I hear my car radio warning me about D.C. traffic up ahead as I scope out my new workplace, bracing myself for the unpleasant reality that I will be fighting this traffic for the foreseeable future. Hear the wiper blades whisk away rain drops that never seem to let up and my phone beep with incoming emails reminding me that everything is about to change. Again.
All of this swirls in my mind like a dream and the momentum is overwhelming. My life is, once again, thrown into a chaotic rhythm of changes – job, relocation, training, love. I can’t even imagine where it all will take me.
So, in the midst of all this chaos, I got a dog.
Perhaps I shouldn’t have. It was impulsive. I have been checking out shelters and combing adoption sites for months. But I promised him I wouldn’t get a dog until we settle into our new place and really knew what our lives and schedules would be like. I promised.
But I break my promise.
When the slight little black mutt greets me with delicate doggy kisses, I break my promise. And as I pack up her newly-bought gear and load her into my car, I wonder what the hell I was thinking. As if I need one more complication to throw into the mix. But when she greets me at the door with wild excitement at the end of my first day at the new job, when I hear her jump lightly onto my bed in the middle of the night to sleep right next to me, I can’t help but fall in love. And he can’t, either. And he sweetly accepts her, pushing aside his surprise and perhaps frustration at my broken promise. I hear him tell me that he loves her, and I think it was a good idea.
When she lies on the coach with me as I write this, I hear her snoring softly, and I know it was a good idea.