Friday, May 05, 2006
Waiting behind the door
Noah plays nice with Shadow. November 3, 2004.
Many of you may not know that my wife blogs, too. She posted this week about how my recently accelerated travel regime has affected the family. It's not easy on any of them when I simply disappear for a few days. It makes coming home that much more rewarding for us all - and gives me lots to think about as I hover miles above the earth on my way home.
Returning home has always been my favorite part of being away. Tonight, they came to pick me up from the airport shuttle. I got limitless hugs from the little people before we piled back into the van and headed home. It was late, I was jet lagged, and our munchkins were too excited to fall asleep.
As I watched them bounce up the front walk and head into the house, I thought about how our cat, who we had to put down a year ago March, used to greet us at the door whenever we came home from a trip. He would meow angrily as we put the key in the lock, as if he didn't want us to forget that he was ticked off at being left alone. After a few hours of feline guilt-giving, he'd calm down and make nice to us all.
These days, the door is silent upon our return. Yet for a split second, I still expect him to be there. Weird, yet strangely comforting.
This picture is reflective of a typical Noah moment with his self-proclaimed "best cat." He still speaks fondly of his lost pet, still smiles when he does so - even as his voice gets a little quieter because he misses him.
I can't help but think that our little boy learned something about growing up from the time he spent with his furry friend. The hallway may be silent when we come home. Yet somehow the echoes are still, faintly, there.
Your turn: So should we just get a dog already? I know it's insane and we have neither the time nor the energy. But we said that about kids before we had 'em, and they're working out all right. Does pet ownership help kids grow up to be better people?