Learning To Love Imperfection
My Ode To Max
For over 40 years, I've been a cat person. I've always loved cats and since I was 13 years old, have had had several cats as pets. Cats are cute, pretty much keep themselves clean and depending on their mood, can be quite cuddly and loving. They always provided a presence in my home or apartment, especially in my 20's when I lived alone, and it was always nice to have someone to greet me when I came home from work.
But after I turned 40 and knew that I was only going to have one child, I decided that we needed more love in the house. So, I decided to get a dog...my very first dog. I picked out Max, a french bulldog, because he was short, stocky and had a face that reminded me of a friendly old grandpa. I really had no idea what I was getting myself into - no idea that dogs like to eat feces or are ok with eating their own vomit. No idea that I would have to frequently wipe his butt after he did his business. No idea how loud he snores or how stinky his farts were. And there were so many times when I thought...this is way too gross, not to mention my carpet is ruined!
But after 4 years, I can not imagine not having Max around or experiencing his presence (no matter how unclean), his unconditional love, his little quirks, his playfulness and silliness. The way he pretends that he's deaf when my husband tries to put him to bed. Or when he pushes the cat out of the way when he catches you petting the cat... and not him.
Max has taught me how to love imperfection...how to love uncleanliness and messiness. He has taught me to be ok when things aren't perfect, neat or proper. And I've come over to the dog world, a world that is filled with love, joy... and lots of gas. (Admittedly, my 10 year old son also pushes me to accept messiness as a part of life, but it's really Max who provides the daily reminder.)
So for most of you planners out there, who like to be in control of things and for things to be perfect, I dare you to get messy, get your hands dirty and be ok with imperfection for a little while - with yourself and with others. Because, you just might surprise yourself and find something truly beautiful....
My big baby sleeping in my arms...