Monday, October 18, 2010

The Pack

As soon as the suitcases come out her entire demeanor changes. We had all just returned from a walk in the park but she was still fired up and wanted to run around the yard. She followed me into the garage expecting something different maybe one of the treats we keep on the workbench. I watched the flicker from her eyes disappear when I reached up and grabbed our biggest brown bag. She followed me back into the house her head hung in defeat. As we started to get Harpers things together she strategically put her self in the middle of the room so that we tripped over her every time we went to get something out of the closet.  It was as though she was saying “Don’t forget me.” Once the bags we packed and set by the door she wouldn’t leave Harpers side and every time I looked at her it was almost as if I could hear what she was thinking” If she goes I go.”  We put her in the back of the car with the rest of the things and she had a new spring her step. She licked Harpers feet and jumped up to try and kiss my chin. I didn’t have the heart to tell her she was going to Grandma’s for the week. As we pulled off the freeway and headed to my parents house I caught her staring at me in the rearview mirror….she was not happy. As we unloaded her stuff from the car she gave Harper a nudge goodbye and walked inside without giving me a peripheral glance. What she made me realize is that our little family was a pack and I was splitting it up. I knew it was only a week but the looks the dog had been giving me that day made me feel like I was committing a much greater offense.

            As we boarded the plane my abandonment issues stared to wane as the stewardess handed my first class breakfast menu. A surprise upgrade from my mother in law’s friend had already begun to place my guilt behind the growing excitement of being in Hawaii for the week. I drank my Mimosa (2) quickly, anticipating our first flight with an infant. In true Harper fashion our little girl proved to be the perfect angel. The crew and our fellow passengers commented multiple times about how great she was. I replied that that those chewable Flintstone Valiums worked remarkably well…..I don’t think they really understood my sense of humor.
            Our first day went smooth and then we remembered that there was one factor we had overlooked when originally booking the trip……the time difference.  The resort was a very different and peaceful place at 4:15 AM. Harper and I walked the expansive grounds stopping to admire all the man made waterfalls and lush tropical landscaping. We cozied up in one of the VIP bungalows near the ocean and watched the sun come up. I was a little tired and my arms were sore from carrying her for the previous two hours but the instant the morning sun hit her eyes she turned and gave me a huge smile. At this moment with the ocean crashing on the rocks below us I felt incredibly lucky to be sharing the sunrise and my life with such a wonderful little girl. I don’t know if Harper will remember that morning when she gets older but I know that I will never forget it. 
            The rest of the trip was wonderful. Harper got to wear all her cute little hula dresses and was the star of the show at every event we took her to. She got some quality beach naps in and got introduced to the ocean with mixed results, we’re gonna work on that.  

In the end we were sad to go but happy to get the team back together. As we pulled back into my parent’s driveway I could see Laney wiggling with excitement through the blinds. As we opened the door she barked with excitement and went straight for Harpers car seat to make sure her little girl was home safe. We may be different species but it seems as though our priorities are the same. I got down on the floor and scratched her belly assuring her that our next trip would be together… a pack.

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