This is about fresh starts, new beginnings, and healing.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a few months, you’ll recall that earlier this fall, two neighborhood dogs broke into our chicken coop and killed all of our chickens. Our next-door neighbor notified the dogs’ owner, who called and was very apologetic and offered to help in any way possible. But really, what can you do?
I received some responses to that post, written and verbal, that were ANGRY with the dogs’ owners. Things like: They should do more! and Did you report the dogs to the police?!
I’d like to say that Erick and I maintained only peaceful, loving thoughts towards those neighbors, but I’ll be honest: not always. Especially when the dogs CONTINUED to escape their fence and run through our yard, we went grumble grumble.
And then, one afternoon in early December, the dogs’ owner showed up at our front door, carrying an ENORMOUS basket of doggie treats. She’d somehow gotten word that we had a new puppy, and wanted to welcome our “new addition.” Attached to the basket was a note, including another apology for the chicken massacre. This was the first time I’d met her in person; we chatted a few minutes, and she was just lovely.
From the note attached to the gift basket, we learned that the dogs’ names are Chloe and Kylie. My two oldest girls were fascinated by that fact, and the day after the basket arrived they showed me a little something about healing.
It started as they were getting dressed in the morning. “Hey, Campbell,” said Fiona, “want to pretend to be Chloe and Kylie?”
“What’re you going to play?” I asked, in my always wise, mature mothering style, “Chloe and Kylie Kill the Chickens?”
“YES!!!!!!” screamed my girls in unison. And for the next 30 minutes, they alternately pretended that their stuffed animals and Georgia were chickens. They chased, and bit, and ate. The game included lines like, “Hey, I just threw up a whole bunch of feathers!”
My girls are weird, yes, but they are also resilient. Over the course of a few months, they were able to take the sight of their chickens torn apart, and turn it into a game. They LAUGHED.
I mention this to give us all closure, especially those of you who shared in our grumbling. And also, as we start a New Year, to give us all hope: that fresh starts are possible, that healing happens, and that most people, when you get right down to it, are pretty freakin’ great.