Has anyone seen that old SNL video where the couple gets a baby in order to prepare having a dog one day? I tried to search for the video but gave up after sifting through SNL clips for ten minutes. But it’s a hilarious video, and a spoof on people who get dogs to prepare for having a kid. I was reminded of that video because our little Leia is slowly teaching me the sacrifices of parenting.
Yesterday J and I arrived home after work at the same time, which rarely happens. We both walked through the door and were instantly met with the most foul, putrid smell. My heart sank. Leia. I ran to our bedroom to see our sweet girl in her crate filled with diarrhea. I had no idea how long she had been sitting there (dear Lord, let it have happened just an hour ago!), and before I thought twice about it, I opened the crate to get her out of her misery (which, in retrospect, was probably the worst idea considering both J and I had on nice clothes and didn’t have her leash handy. She ran around the apartment and jumped on our bed).
J took her for a walk while I cleaned up the mess. And y’all? It was gross. And smelly. I changed my clothes and spent the next hour cleaning her crate, our carpet, our duvet comforter, and scrubbing her in a warm bath. The whole time I felt so guilty that we hadn’t been there to help her and so sorry that she had spent the day in this mess.
As I was cleaning up the mess, I was surprised to realize how selfless my thoughts were. (Yes, selfless thoughts shock me.) I was knee deep in a poopy bath getting sprayed by my wet dog, and instead of complaining I was concerned. I know I should think of her — but so often in those circumstances I think of myself and the inconvenience it causes me.
Ahhh, so this is what parenting is. Caring so much for someone that you don’t mind doing the messy tasks. When it’s a delight to serve and care for them.
I feel anxious about parenting one day because of all the sacrifice it will require. But if I feel selfless sacrifice overflowing from the love I have for my dog, how much more will I feel towards my own children? Hebrews 12:2 came to mind, where it describes Jesus who for the joy set before him endured the cross. For the joy, the delight of having me as a daughter, endured the cross and made the ultimate sacrifice.
How great is the Father’s love for us.
PS – I know there’s a whole host of mothers who deal with messy situations on a daily, almost hourly basis. Kuddos to you women!
PPS – Leia is feeling much better, I think. We are monitoring her on webcam today to see if she has any more accidents and can come home to take care of her, if she does.
PPPS – For the record, I’m not pregnant. :)