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  • Sonya Leigh Anderson


Here’s something I’ve been thinking about lately. I think it’s the puppy. And two days of no school. Monday, working from home, it felt like a whole litter. Everybody’s everything strewn about everywhere. Puppy gladly chewing on whatever she could find.

Sometimes she just sits with her little chin resting right on top of temptation. My stack of books by my morning chair. She knows it’s “NO” but she just can’t resist. Not chewing, but snuggling as close as possible to almost-naughty.

She reminds me often of a certain boy. Who shall remain nameless. But goodness, this kid just has to keep those toes caressing the line. Deep down scared to death of being too bad, but still so prone to snuggling up close.

What is it, I wonder? I can’t relate. I’ve hated badness my whole life long. A Goody Two-Shoes, some might say.

Of course, I do know my own weakness, and this being the season of Lent and confession, I’m even more aware. The things I give up reveal my own craving for my personal taste for the things of the flesh. It’s pathetic sometimes. Really.

So what do you do with puppies and boys and boundaries and rules? It’s crazy-making most of the time. Kyle and I neither one prone to fighting. And aware of the need to allow for some space for boys who still long to be little. They didn’t get to be babes here, under our roof, in our care. So for a time is it okay to go backwards a bit? Let them romp and be messy ‘til they’ve had enough?

Yesterday at church a comment was made in our study. A young mom who has a sister and a nephew 14-years old. And this young lad’s heart is good but he’s going through a season of cool, and at church he’s too cool to worship. Mom and Dad wonder what they should do. Do we force him to join in the proper way? And then one wise parent figures it out. No. We don’t want him to fake it. That would be worse.

Good answer.

And here, too, we’d rather be patient than fake it.

So I watch my pups for signs of growth. Knowing there will be plenty of ways to measure these hearts, since no one around here is faking.

Meanwhile our Maple-pup grows by the day. Tripled her weight since she arrived. And Kendra, our puppy-sitter for the days we both work, gave high marks this week. She’s made so much progress! Less biting, more listening. Puppy kindergarten seems to pay off.

Today is my day to work from home. Work includes church, but also means laundry. And bathrooms. And as I look around and assess the damage I think – it’s not too bad. Could be a lot worse. A few extra minutes to tidy up messes is worth it to let them be pups for a while.

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