Tap. Rap-tap. Tap. For the past several weeks I’ve heard the slight knock at my front door around 7:40 every weekday morning. My 11-year-old neighbor five houses up stops by now to greet Posie, my new collie girl who was a littermate to my Ayrabelle. Bit by bit, I am learning the social graces of why interruptions are good for us.
When I hear Janalynn at the door, busy-focused-me meets up with accommodating-relaxed-me. Gratefully, my more genial self wins out. Am I that scheduled out that I can’t take 5-10 minutes to let this young girl love on my new doggie? Are my to-dos more critical than warming the heart of a pre-teen who apparently no longer has a mom? No. And no.
Giving Hugs and Smooches
You see, Janalynn adored Ayrabelle, and many a morning we’d be out walking and would greet Janalynn on her way to school. After Bellie passed in February, I didn’t have the heart to tell my young friend of my terrible loss. It took me more than a month to let her know that Bellie was in heaven, and I promised a new doggie before too long.
Posie has been with me just two weeks and already Janalynn is bonded to this bigger version of Ayrabelle. Janalynn has come out of her shell and has started saying my name and giving me good-bye hugs after she plays with Posie’s fluffy coat and gives my girl a few smooches. Interruptions are good for us. All this reminds me of my post called Hugs Are a Miracle Cure.
Collie mania is contagious, because Janalynn is recruiting her friends to get some collie hugs too. (Pictured: Janalynn in the middle with Scarlett (right) and Scarlett’s little sister Wynter (on left) who live about a block from Janalynn.) Yesterday after school, two young neighborhood boys scurried up my front steps to pet Posie too. My Lassie is well loved. (In the photo below, my friend, Maris, is also bonding to her newfound friend, Posie.)
Watching these kids flock to my house and collie, reminds me of my own grade-school years of stopping by my neighbors’ houses. I loved dropping by to play their piano, greet their chickens, and sample their freshly baked cookies. Perhaps the words of beloved Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhooddo ring true: “The underlying message of the Neighborhood is that if somebody cares about you, it’s possible that you’ll care about others. ‘You are special, and so is your neighbor.’”
So What Does This Mean for Us?
So now that I have a new dog, and she’s wildly attracting kids from the ‘hood, am I willing to keep opening my door? Even when it’s not convenient? When I am in the middle of work and on a deadline? I have to, I must. Because you see, giving away smiles, hugs, and a few minutes of time to these young children is one of my greatest joys. Our times together are much more than a dog-petting session. The kids tell me about school, their families, and yes, a friend’s pet squirrel that lives in a cage in her brother’s bedroom. Ewww!
Oh, and there’s the blurted out hurt too. “My mom is in prison.” “My dad and I live with my grandparents.” “I don’t have many friends.” “Kids at school tease me.”
So who am I to deny these eager and sometimes sullen kids a bit of collie sunshine in their day? Who am I to wear my busy-adult mantle and refuse to answer the door?
Tap. Rap-tap. Tap. Who’s knocking to share in a bit of your day today? Perhaps like me, you are learning that some interruptions are meant to be welcomed.