There’s this new term that’s been floating around- it’s to ‘adult’ or ‘Adulting’, being used like a verb to describe the harder responsibilities of an adult’s life. You know, like putting pants on. It’s not so much the pants that are hard to out on as much as it’s about what the pants represent: getting out of bed in the morning. Cooking food for your kids. Cleaning up the dishes afterwards. Going to work. Coming back home and cleaning up the kitchen again. Cooking more food and cleaning again… It’s this cycle of adult responsibility that you repeat over and over with a smile on your face because you’re grateful for the privilege of responsibility. But sometimes… Last week I thought I knew what Adulting meant when I came home in a foul mood and just didn’t want to be responsible to anyone at that moment. I wanted to lay on my bed and fume quietly without having to get back up to serve anyone. However, I adulted that day. I earned my Adulting ribbon by making dinner, cleaning it up and folding laundry.
But this week I really and truly learned what adulting means. Adulting means letting your kid go under the knife to get her tonsils out. It means taking a few days off of work to sit by her and hold her hand, letting her convalesce while running Popsicle and slurpee errands for her. It meant staying at home with the boy, walking him to school and holding his hand at his classroom door while my other baby was meeting with the anesthesiologist and getting put to sleep. Adulting meant I didn’t get to say goodbye to her, I didn’t get to kiss her or watch her get pushed through the operating room door, but I got to be with her in the recovery room. That was scary and hard to let her go, but I adulted my way through it. (Don’t worry- Bradley was there! And she’s doing great!!)
I’m also Adulting my way through my dog’s last days. My best buddy, Martha, is at the end of her short, sweet life. She’s two months shy of her 14th birthday right now and falling apart; a tumor started growing on her neck right around Easter and it’s literally choking her as it works it’s way around her neck. It’s huge, hard and horrible. We’ve known her ending is inevitable, but there’s always that hope for the miracle. She is too important. She’s my girl. She’s my running, hiking and walking buddy. She’s my ball throwing buddy, my stick tugging puppy… She’s the dog I always wanted who would joyfully dive into the ocean’s surf at any moment. She’s worth a miracle. I’ve never called her my daughter or dog-ter, but I’ve often called her my sister. I think of her as my friend- more or less a canine equal and I tried to honor her like that throughout her whole life. I love her. And she’s dying. She stopped eating on purpose last Wednesday. We took her to the vet on Friday and they looked at her and could only offer a mild antibiotic and pain meds to last just two weeks. On Saturday she started spitting the food out that we tried to stuff in her mouth, trying to get her to eat something. Hot dogs, ham and roast beef all come to the same end: floor fodder. We unsuccessfully tried chicken broth. So now she’s only drinking water and getting weaker by the day. Today she could barely walk outside. It’s one of the saddest things I’ve ever loved anyone through. Truly, Adulting. Who wants to put their pants on to take their dog to the vet’s because she wants to die? So hard.
Needless to say, this week is focused on my loves. On Adulting. My boy needs to feel important in the shadow of his sister’s surgery. My husband is recovering from a sinus infection. My first baby, my Martha, will either starve herself to death or I have to take her to the vets to be euthanized tomorrow or the next day. Adulting.
I just won’t worry about running until I run for Martha and Curtis at the All in for Autism 10K on Sunday, then I’ll pour it all in. Like an adult.