WHERE DO YOU FIND ACCEPTANCE? In my heart, in my head, planted there first from my Dad. I was always “Daddy’s curly-headed cow girl.” Never mind that my hair was stick straight. My mother , gave me only partial acceptance. Think she saw too many of her own failed dreams in me; I never felt I was good enough for her.
But too Mom’s credit, she gave me Lady–a Cocker/beagle mix straight from the pound with a heart needing to love as much as I needed a friend. I must have been in second grade, I was the first new kid in the school, and like a new horse put down in a well established herd, just not accepted. Moreover, I was shy, skinny, and as my mother realized lonely. Lady solved the loneliness.
Back in those days, dogs wandered free. Lady walked me to school, ran around town, stopping by home for a nap and according to Mom, Lady also always knew when school was letting out, she would be asked to let out of the house, so she could run to meet me stubby tail wagging and eyes shining with love just for me.
As I write this I cannot for the life of me remember her death. She almost died once–we lived on Route One aka Baltimore Pike and one day she ran into the street and flew through the ai, hit r by a car that never stopped. She was unconscious for hours, but slowly came to and came back to life. I remember those days, but her real death, I simply do not recall. I only remember her love and am grateful.
Also to my mother’s credit, she gave me a more precious gift of true acceptance, even though I didn’t know it at the time. In one way or another I was always a bit of an out sider. Mom made that something to be proud of. “Never be part of the herd. Right or wrong, be you.” I heard that many times up and usually when I most needed support for not being perfect. So I may have felt I never was quite good enough, in her eyes, but true acceptance is love that sees all your flaws and loves you still. Thank you, Mom.
So that brings me to David, who is Mr. Critic. As much as I adored being my father’s “Curly headed cow girl” it is like trying to hug sticky marshmallow to be always appear to be above reproach. I think I married Mr. Critic because like my mother he saw me and loved me flaws and all. Not always easy to live with, but real, and his acceptance and critic’s eye pushed me to be more than I ever thought I could be. Thank you David.
And then there is the current Lady, our dog Whisper because sometimes you just want to think someone things you are totally the best thing going. Dogs do that best, particularly if you have an endless supply of bribes. So as the saying goes, “That’s my story, Morning Glory.” Do you have one?
Care, share and stay strong.
Image of Lady by someone in my family.