Putting away the laundry I noticed a note on my husband’s nightstand. It was addressed to him and included our full address and a drawn picture of a little dog next to a tree. I opened it up and this is what I saw:
My heart dropped and I sat down and cried. Just a few quick tears. Then I wiped my eyes and finished the laundry.
Sometimes you have to break your kids heart and it hurts.
For years he has been asking for a dog. Lilly was our neighbors dog. She is an adorable white mutt who is in love with my boy. She used to dig under the fence and come into our yard anytime he was outside. She would cry at our door for him to come play with her. Then the neighbors had to move. They could not take Lilly with them and noticed the bond between boy and dog. They gave him Lilly.
Dad said no. He does not want a dog. Trust me, he will not budge on the subject.
So Lilly went to live with grandma. My boy loves staying at her house and seeing his dog. Almost every time he comes home from a night with his dog, he cries and tells me how much it hurts that he can’t have Lilly. The dog also seems to cry and grandma says she mopes for days after he leaves.
I have had more conversations/arguments about this dog situation with my husband than I care to admit. He is very set in his decision. It is hard and heartbreaking. He is a loving and kind man, but his inability to see how much pain this causes his boy drives me to no end.
My boy never tells daddy how he feels. He rages and cries at me about the dog situation, but never his dad.
This letter was the first time he really tried to tell daddy how he feels. I was sad and proud at the same time.
He wrote to Santa too and said all he wants for Christmas is for his dog to come home to him.
It is not happening and Christmas morning he will be sad.
But he won’t be alone.
Although this seems like a huge deal in my heart, I know there are kids out there asking for things far more precious than a dog. There are kids that ask Santa for a mom or a dad, work for their parents, food to eat or a home. Other kids ask for peace in their lives or for a family to be whole again after divorce.
All of these things break my heart. I wish I had the power to take pain away from all children.
But I can’t. I cannot even give my boy what he wants most.
But I do have the power to be positive and to not make him resent his father for his choice. I can make his Christmas special by focusing on love, togetherness and family. We are blessed in ways that my boy can’t even comprehend.
My dearest friend is facing her first Christmas since losing her mother. My grandfather is suffering from terminal cancer and is facing the reality of this being his last Christmas. A close family member is fighting to keep her family together and struggling with mental health issues. So much sadness.
Not getting a dog seems pretty small compared to all that.
So I will choose happiness and joy for Christmas. I will focus on all that is good. I will surround myself with friends and family and love up everyone I can.
It might just turn out to be a Merry Christmas after all.
I love you my darling daughter…. He is such a great boy. I am so proud of you for sharing your story. mom
Wow Bridgette! Your writing just gets better and better. I wept when I read this. You know that it is not the end of the world for your son not to get his dog home for Christmas. But these are the gifts he will get; you helping him not let this come between him and his father, encouraging your boy to continue to express his feelings, (one day his partner will thank you for this gift.) and focusing on the merry this Christmas. What wonderful gifts for the heart. How lovely you can give them to him even if it isn’t what he wants most. How does that song go? You can’t always get what you want but it turns out, if you try sometimes, you get what you need.
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