I have found myself – in the past two months - back to 100% single motherhood.
In addition to the absence of John Bear, Benjamin is no longer spending one weekend a month at his father’s. I can’t get into details but can say that the decision (mine) was definitely as a last resort and only after four years of giving my ex-husband every grace possible. He is invited to come up and see him here, but no more overnights there.
Needless to say, the adjustment has not been easy. But we are plugging through.
Benjamin is adjusting beautifully but not without his emotional ups and downs. Me? A bit slower to the punch, of course. Being an adult and all, with my baggage and my mental road blocks and having to parent alone again and do everything else alone again. Well, you can imagine…
The worst of all “alones” – being suddenly alone again every night after Benjamin went to bed has been tough. Just a few of the reasons we set out weeks ago to find a new dog. Enter Mr. Archer, the most well-behaved dog I have ever encountered.
And as Benjamin says he’s “so lovable.”
Just look at him.
I am absolutely in love with him. And only one week in, all three of us are so incredibly attached to each other–it’s hard to imagine our family without him. Maybe I’m self-medicating our family with a dog, but I don’t care.
This is far better than rebounding with a man, or drugs, or cigarettes.
Many of you have been asking about where Archer came from. Last weekend, Benjamin and I drove up to Chicago to visit Terri and Larry. I was hunting in Ulta for a new perfume and a shampoo that wouldn’t weigh my hair down when a volunteer from the local shelter walked in with a puppy in her arms. They were next door at PetSmart for an adoption day.
I ran up to her, so excited, because Benjamin and I had been looking in Columbus shelters for weeks. But we couldn’t find our dog. One shelter also denied our application because I technically didn’t own Murphy and couldn’t show evidence of being a “good” pet owner with vet records. That hurt, believe me. Nothing like someone telling you when you are raising a human being that you can’t raise a dog. Not that dogs and kids are the same, but come on. Really?
The volunteers in Illinois passed our application in a heart beat and were so excited that Archer, who had been in the shelter for an entire month, would be going “home”. They said his old owner turned him in when the landlord wouldn’t let Archer stay. It’s heart breaking because Archer is so incredibly sweet and well-behaved. You can tell that someone put a tremendous amount of love into this dog.
He’s so well trained, in fact, that I am hiring a dog trainer this weekend to come in and train Benjamin and I. My fear is that we will un-train Archer. If that’s even possible.
But so far, so good. And Archer, who comes to work with me every day – joining Ellie as the second Cement Marketing dog – has died and gone to Heaven.