Tap. Rap-tap. Tap. For the past several weeks I’ve heard the slight knock at my front door around 7:40 every weekday morning. My 11-year-old neighbor five houses up stops by now to greet Posie, my new collie girl who was a littermate to my Ayrabelle. Bit by bit, I am learning the social graces of why interruptions are good for us.
When I hear Janalynn at the door, busy-focused-me meets up with accommodating-relaxed-me. Gratefully, my more genial self wins out. Am I that scheduled out that I can’t take 5-10 minutes to let this young girl love on my new doggie? Are my to-dos more critical than warming the heart of a pre-teen who apparently no longer has a mom? No. And no.
Giving Hugs and Smooches
You see, Janalynn adored Ayrabelle, and many a morning we’d be out walking and would greet Janalynn on her way to school. After Bellie passed in February, I didn’t have the heart to tell my young friend of my terrible loss. It took me more than a month to let her know that Bellie was in heaven, and I promised a new doggie before too long.
Posie has been with me just two weeks and already Janalynn is bonded to this bigger version of Ayrabelle. Janalynn has come out of her shell and has started saying my name and giving me good-bye hugs after she plays with Posie’s fluffy coat and gives my girl a few smooches. Interruptions are good for us. All this reminds me of my post called Hugs Are a Miracle Cure.
Collie mania is contagious, because Janalynn is recruiting her friends to get some collie hugs too. (Pictured: Janalynn in the middle with Scarlett (right) and Scarlett’s little sister Wynter (on left) who live about a block from Janalynn.) Yesterday after school, two young neighborhood boys scurried up my front steps to pet Posie too. My Lassie is well loved. (In the photo below, my friend, Maris, is also bonding to her newfound friend, Posie.)
Watching these kids flock to my house and collie, reminds me of my own grade-school years of stopping by my neighbors’ houses. I loved dropping by to play their piano, greet their chickens, and sample their freshly baked cookies. Perhaps the words of beloved Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhooddo ring true: “The underlying message of the Neighborhood is that if somebody cares about you, it’s possible that you’ll care about others. ‘You are special, and so is your neighbor.’”
So What Does This Mean for Us?
So now that I have a new dog, and she’s wildly attracting kids from the ‘hood, am I willing to keep opening my door? Even when it’s not convenient? When I am in the middle of work and on a deadline? I have to, I must. Because you see, giving away smiles, hugs, and a few minutes of time to these young children is one of my greatest joys. Our times together are much more than a dog-petting session. The kids tell me about school, their families, and yes, a friend’s pet squirrel that lives in a cage in her brother’s bedroom. Ewww!
Oh, and there’s the blurted out hurt too. “My mom is in prison.” “My dad and I live with my grandparents.” “I don’t have many friends.” “Kids at school tease me.”
So who am I to deny these eager and sometimes sullen kids a bit of collie sunshine in their day? Who am I to wear my busy-adult mantle and refuse to answer the door?
Tap. Rap-tap. Tap. Who’s knocking to share in a bit of your day today? Perhaps like me, you are learning that some interruptions are meant to be welcomed.
Oh, BETH, this is so meaningful and poignant. Our beautiful Lassie is the draw, but you are being a beacon of LIGHT … it’s your loving kindness and words of encouragement that they’re most hoping to experience each day. You and your new girl are quite the shining duo!! ????
Thank you, Aunt Reasie. It is sooo fun to open my door to Janalynn and her friends. I am truly blessed. I love that my new girl is so sweet and relatable to others.
Oh my gosh! Your writing made my heart skip a beat. What a heartwarming story and a great reminder of what is really important! So wonderful to see how God is using you, Bellie’s memory and now Posie! I know the joy of visiting my friends at hospice each week and when I don’t think I have time God pulls on my heartstrings to learn to drop what I think is important. Thank you for helping myself & others with this message! ????????????
Terry, thank you for sharing this. Isn’t it so rewarding to drop what we think is important to invest ourselves in the lives of others? Bless you for visiting at hospice each week. You are bringing joy and peace to those who are narrowing their own focus on what really matters in life. Thank you!
How wonderful, Beth. And it makes me tear up to think about how much Posie must be loving all the new attention! We have to remember Jesus was frequently interrupted, too! But He knew the interruptions were the reason He came. Love your new-found purpose with Posie!
Thank you so much, Nancy. Posie girl is continuing on with Bellie’s joy and encouragement. Your words about Jesus’ handling interruptions is a good reminder to go with the flow and keep His perspective in mind.
What a joy these kids are to you and Posie….they need adult friends
(and animal friends) to talk to and share their happy times and sorrows. The visits with you, Beth, and Poise are probably the highlight of their day. Treasure those times together. You and Poise are making a difference in their lives.
On a side note, I read your chapter on Gwen, Wayne and Lee. I had Keith and Lee in Kindergarten, and loved that little boy. He was my Pilgrim friend when he went to first grade….. For years I would get a hug as we passed in the halls of school. Your story touched my heart so deeply and deepened my respect for Gwen, Wayne, and Keith as they have such a strong faith in God and trust Him and His plan, even though it has been difficult. Thank you for sharing the story of their faith and unfailing love for life and their Lord. You are Blessed to have them as friends, as they are of your friendship.
Meg, thank you so much for writing. How wonderful that you know the Wrich family and had such a sweet friendship with Lee. Their story of faith and unfailing love is continuing to uplift others. We are all blessed to know them. And thank you for your encouragement about Posie and the neighborhood kids. I do treasure those knocks on the door and all the hugs and smiles.
Great interruption to my early day! Collie sunshine always welcome ????
Thank you, Cindy. Collie sunshine sure does make a day much brighter. 🙂
What a blessing you are to those kids’. They will remember your kindness forever. You are influencing them to be caring, productive human beings! What a huge impact! You certainly have your priorities right. I love this article. I sprang a good share of my teaching career working with those hurting kids. That pet and adult therapy is just what the doctor ordered! Bless you!!
Thank you so much, Carla. I had no idea that my pet therapy at care facilities and then just naturally in my neighborhood would be so rewarding. I do think I am more or equally blessed whenever I just show up with a collie and listen. Good for you for all you’ve done over the years teaching both hurting kids and adults.
Beautiful. God moments in our day where He knocks too …’through the eyes of children’. Posie’s promise to unconditionally love no matter the hurt, missed hair, or misfit smile. You ladies are quite the team! Go bless!
Lise, thank you. I love your “promise to unconditionally love no matter the hurt, missed hair, or misfit smile.” Just beautiful. Thank you for making my day and cheering us on.
Beth! My heart is warmed! My eyes are full of tears. What a beautiful story.
I would like to come a “rap tap tapping” and meet Posie one day too!
God is good; in some of the most surprising, tender ways!
Bless you, sweet one!
Sue, I am so glad we could help warm your heart. You can come rap tap tap on my door any day. Or, maybe we’ll just show up at your office or home some day. 🙂
Don’t you just love the full-circle redemptive side of this beautiful story?