The Magic of Yes

by Gigi Ross on December 21, 2012

What do you do when granting your child’s wish is not as easy at it seems?

Our dog, Bosco is thirteen.

She is a little bit of an aloof sort, and always has been. Our first “child,” she developed an indifference to Boy Wonder and Little CEO when they came on the scene. She tolerates them, but they’re most definitely not the apple of her eye.

All my kids really want is a dog that showers love on them, and on whom they can shower their love. We’ve resisted getting another dog for years because we recognize how big the commitment is.

A few months ago, against my better judgment, we adopted a little puppy. It was an unwise and irresponsible decision on my part. We were in the middle of moving. Our new house was undergoing a major renovation. It was a tumultuous time – an unfair environment in which to introduce a 2 month old puppy. The puppy overtook the household (as puppies do), displacing Bosco from her bed, stealing her toys, eating her food, despite our efforts to give them each their own space.

I could see a palpable change in Bosco. Super healthy at 13, she began to look resigned and defeated. I couldn’t control the puppy, and I couldn’t do anything to make Bosco feel like she was still a valued member of the family. Fortunately, we found a safe and good home for the puppy and we agreed that should we ever get another dog, it would not be a puppy.

When I received Little CEO’s Christmas wish list a month ago, it had the usual craptastic items that most girls her age covet. And at the end, she had written, “I would trade all of these things for a dog.”

Since getting that list, we’ve debated back and forth about whether it was the right time to get another dog. There is nothing more in life that I enjoy than making my kids’ wishes come true at Christmas. But I also knew that this gift was not just any gift. It was a gift that would mean increased responsibility for the kids and especially, for me.

I was having a dilemma.

Until last Friday, when twenty beautiful children’s lives were taken too soon in Connecticut.

Beautiful children who were 6 and 7 years old…like my Little CEO.

I have no guarantees on how long my gorgeous daughter will be in my life. She can be taken from me at any time.

And how would I feel if she had been in that school on Friday?

For the rest of my days on Earth, I would have been burdened with the knowledge that she died without me having granted her sincerest wish in life.

And it was in that moment that I decided: there are times that logic and reason and responsibilities need to be put aside in favor of making a moment matter.

On Tuesday, we granted Little CEO’s wish. We adopted a little dog from the animal shelter.

The dog will be my constant reminder that we’re all on borrowed time. And that sometimes you just need to say yes to a child for no other reason than because you can, and because you never know if it’s the last time you’ll be able.





Lori Popkewitz Alper December 21, 2012 at 6:46 am

So sweet. What a beautiful story and reason to get a new puppy. Dogs teach us so many life lessons if we choose to listen.

Gigi Ross December 31, 2012 at 11:12 am

So true, Lori~ I just read your post about your visiting puppy and totally agree. They are special. We are having a few challenges with our new dog, but she has brought a lot of joy into the house – maybe for me more than anybody else :)

Carolyn West December 21, 2012 at 9:00 am

I’ve been choosing my words very carefully around my kids this week. I have that nagging feeling in the back of my mind that it just might be the last time I talk to them. I don’t want the last thing I say to be negative or mean. Truth be told, it’s okay for them to get what they want every now and then. I took my kids to Magic Mountain yesterday (a place I hate) for no other reason than they wanted to go and I wanted them to be happy.

Jessica, The Debt Princess December 21, 2012 at 9:03 am

I found myself getting fed up and nagging during our morning routine yesterday before school and I had to stop. I looked at my boys (one of whom is a 1st grader) and thought about how I could be dropping them off and never seeing them again. I changed my tone and chose my words better. If I continue to think this way, it will make me a better parent, I think.

Jessica, The Debt Princess December 21, 2012 at 9:01 am

Oh Gigi!! You got me, you totally got me!

My own 6yr old (who resembles one of the victims, James Mattioli, physically and descriptively so closely that I can’t get him out of my head and probably never will.) has been asking for a puppy. I haven’t been able to say “yes.” We live in an apartment, there’s extra rent and deposit money that has to be paid, the kids are only here a little over 1/2 the time since I co-parent, the extra costs of a dog are a bit too high for my budget….BUT I read this and maybe I need to reconsider.

I had planned to get us set up to volunteer at the humane society in the new year hoping that it will help just a bit with his feelings. Maybe I need to find a way to fit a puppy into my budget.

Kristin December 21, 2012 at 9:06 am

What a beautiful and timely post, Gigi! Your words brought tears to my eyes. I hope that you and your family have many loving years with your new family member.

Nicole @MTDLBlog December 21, 2012 at 9:21 am

This is lovely Gigi! I’m SO not letting my 7 year-old get her hands on this blog post though….I’d be at the animal shelter in a minute! :) So far, no puppy on the wishlist this year…we do have lego friends that I will no doubt step on for months to come however and the American Girl Doll I said I wasn’t going to get – hey, when the Today’s Show runs a sale for 60% off the doll, and you manage to snag the sale, you buy the darn doll! I’m such a sucker.

So thankful for my girls….and this past week was certainly a reminder to cherish each and every moment.

Amber December 21, 2012 at 10:21 am

This is beautiful. Such a good reminder!

Amiyrah December 21, 2012 at 11:08 am

OK, this made me tear up. Daily I’ve been reminding myself that there is no guarantee that my children will outlive me. Our time here on Earth is short, even for our children. Thank you for posting this and reminding us. And congratulations on your new dog!

Chris Carter December 21, 2012 at 7:16 pm

What a beautiful post. She is such a precious girl!!! I have a boy who is 6 almost 7. It hits home for me too. I decided that my kids all get to sleep in bed with me (hubby to guest room) until Christmas day. It’s kind of a slumber party count down during their break! They are giddy with smiles and joy!! It’s such a treat for them…and every night I lay there listening to them breath and snuggle in a a little closer…thanking God I have them each night.

Chris Carter December 21, 2012 at 7:19 pm

This was beautiful. I have let my kids sleep in bed with me (hubby to the guest room!) every night for a treat and a slumber party countdown until Christmas Morning. They are loving it, and I am snuggling closer to them every night…thanking God that they are with me.

Lady Jennie December 22, 2012 at 1:11 pm

This makes my eyes smart for so many reasons (even for poor old Bosco who was starting to feel defeated).

We have a puppy and it’s really tough going. But I think you’re right and I’m grateful for the reminder.

Valerie December 22, 2012 at 8:38 pm

As you saw Gigi, I spent a rather painful hour plus, straightening the curls on kid2’s hair last week, so that she could have straight hair for the Christmas Concert. I love her curls and detest the straightening process, but after the Sandy Hook tragedy I realized that there was no reason for even a 9 year old to put off those bucket list things, especially for such a simple pleasure.

We are discussing adopting a beagle my sister recently rescued. Have many of the same issues that you have with Bosco, and I’m worried about my Biscuit, but like the idea of a slightly older dog versus a puppy.

Mary @ A Teachable Mom December 23, 2012 at 7:28 am

What a beautiful, happy reminder of the joy in saying “yes.” Congratulations on your new addition. And thank you for the reminder! Happy holidays to you!

Erin I'm Gonna Kill Him December 23, 2012 at 8:29 am

You are a better woman than I, Gig. I don’t think I can get a dog again after living with my husband’s for the last 10 years. An aloof animal, like Bosco, but also a shedder and a barker. I hope my kids really long for a gecko or a goldfish one day. Good luck with this one.

Connie @ Real Food Family Meals December 23, 2012 at 9:12 am

What a kind gesture to get the dog even though it will be more work for you. Like most other parents this last week, I am feeling like I cannot take my children for granted. They could become seriously ill or hurt at any moment, and I don’t want our last memories to be those of fighting or nagging. The holidays are such a great time to give that extra snuggle and slow down to spend extra time together as a family. Wishing you Happy Holidays!

Nicole Morgan (@thesistershood) December 23, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Hear you loudly my dear … I will share pics of our new shelter angel. Roughly three years old, a cockapoo with an impossible coat and a dislike of children .. but he at least adores the two in the house and melts my heart.
Good choice xxx

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