I love alliteration. It’s just one of the reasons why Wednesdays with Wendy is special to me. It’s why I hold onto it, even though there will continue to be times when Wendy won’t be available. Like this morning. Truth be told, I didn’t get out until AFTER the 100th day chapel celebration at school this morning, so I’m as much to blame. I never remember celebrating the 100th day of school when I was young. These kids are sooooo lucky. Did you know that a sneeze travels out of your mouth at over 100 miles an hour? Do you wonder how someone figured that out?
I cried twice last night. The first was when I read the email from my cousin, eloquently informing her friends and family that her dear dog, Guinness, had finally taken his last breath. I could focus this entire site on my love of dogs. I might call it something like Jo’s Daily Dog because, can you guess? I like alliteration. (Isn’t it fun getting to know me?) Guinness was the kind of man dog who always had a smile on his face and, honestly, even on his final day, was wagging his tail. I fondly remember walking him in the rain in his sporty, yellow rain slicker and hat. He was one of the very first mutts whom my formerly freaky dog-fearing daughters came to know and love. Guinness was a mix of who knows what – but certainly there appeared to be some Portuguese water dog in him. I can recall the day the Obamas got Bo and how proud he was to have some representation in the White House. He visited our home every Halloween wearing his signature costume: a small Stetson. Guinness preferred Skittles to M&Ms and dark chocolate over milk. As a senior dog, he’d had his bumps and lumps over the past several years but none deterred him. Finally, a tumor on the roof of his mouth prevented him from eating and, at thirteen, my cousin knew it was time. My daughters cried when I told them the news. Guinness was our friend. We’ll miss him dearly.
The second time I cried was closer to midnight, trying to keep my eyes open to witness Canadian Joannie Rochette take the ice in Vancouver for the women’s figure skating short program. Rochette lost her mother to a heart attack just two days earlier, after her mother had arrived at the Olympics to support her daughter. I remember an old acting teacher explain how it was more powerful to witness a person trying not to cry, rather than watching the floodgates open. It’s what most of us do when overcome with emotion in a public forum. Nowhere was this more evident than in last night’s performance by Rochette. Before she began her routine, she struggled to compose herself and did – through toe loops, salchows and sit spins. She looked flawless and finished with the crowd seemingly wrapping her in a group hug. Then the tears did flow, on the shoulder of her coach, and anyone watching who wasn’t moved has a heart made of stone. She lost her mom. It broke my heart.
Ski-cross on the other hand, makes me wince. Poles are flailing. The crashes are spectacular. The newest Winter Olympic event may need some tweaking.
I hope I don’t cry again tonight. It’s exhausting. But I hope it’s all right that I allow my girls to see me sob. Miss T came down last night to ask why I was sad, after I had read the email about Guinness, and I told her. Goldie and Bun Bun joined us and we wept together. I never cried with my mom or dad. They were a different generation with different ideas about those sorts of things.
If you have children, do you let them see you cry?
Parenting, Wednesdays with Wendy