This story might be a little intimate. It’s about my morning routine. I know, seems innocent enough, but when you think about it, we are all very unique in how we wake up to the day. It feels pretty personal to admit that while I am generally an optimistic person, I am not, and never have been, a “morning person”. It takes me a while to get going – and I can’t blame this one on grief. In fact, not everyone in my history has had the patience for my early morning persona; she’s kind of high-maintenance, and needs gentle coaxing. But those who have understood this, and have loved me despite my grouchy early morning demeanor, are gems. When I was young, my dad was always really sweet to me in the mornings. My husband too, bringing me my coffee. My dog? Not so much. She doesn’t really apply that “fine touch” when it comes to waking me up.
This morning, I was running late, as usual. Stripped down to get in the shower, then for some reason (that I can’t even remember), turned right back around to do something in the dining room…check the time? Have one last sip of coffee? Now, I know my little 4-legged housemate has seen me in the buff before. In fact, she usually just yawns at my naked glory. But today, seeing me streaking through the house in my birthday-suit seemed to awaken her animal instinct. She started yipping and alternating between the downward-dog-I-want-to-play pose, and leaping up at me…claws first. The scene was hilarious, because I was so surprised by her “attack” that I was laughing as I tried to command her to stay off, but also screaming as she launched her torpedo like body and sharp talons at my arms and legs. My mixed messages and gyrations just got her more enthused.
It reminded me of a time last year, when we took our new pup to the dog park. We were working on “re-calls” trying to get her to come to us, so we’d call her name, and run away, encouraging her to follow. Feisty little girl that she was, she came running up on my heels, and lunged at my rear-end. It was just a puppy nip, but those pointy puppy teeth were so sharp that they got caught in my sweats. There she was, literally hanging off my ass. My husband and I laughed so hard. She tore a hole in those pants, trying to dislodge herself, and I still have a cheeky little scar.
This morning, too, I eventually escaped, but not unscathed. So into the shower I got, my newly acquired love-bites stinging under the hot water. And I thought, true love, no matter how unadulterated and pure, always leaves its mark.
But I know that when I look down at my arms today, and see the scratches, I’ll be reminded of this morning’s routine. I’m not sure it’s one I want to repeat, but for the first time in months – as I stood in the shower – I was smiling, rather than crying. That part of it, yes please. Wash, rinse and repeat.