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COLUMN: What a life: Storms, kids and a blind dog

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By Allison Shepherd

I don’t know about you but I’m getting really tired of the storms every day and night. I’m a person that requires sleep, not some sleep or interrupted sleep, I need continuous sleep and lately that’s just not even a possibility.
I’m the mom of an 18-year-old graduating senior and 2-year-old toddler. So needless to say, when the word “Mommy” rings in your ears at 4:30 in the morning, you get up, stumble across the hall, pick up that sleepy little girl with great big blue eyes shaking her head, telling you with a frown on her face, “Mommy, I don’t like storms,” then into Mommy’s bed we go. She is actually pretty good, she snuggles up to me, and you know that’s just an amazing feeling. Holding a toddler in your arms, the same little girl that not too long ago always wanted you to hold her, and now independence has found its way into her life, so I take all those snuggle times to heart.
I can remember when my son used to do the same thing and as we were talking this weekend, he reminded me all the times he used to get his sleeping bag and sneak into our bedroom and be asleep on the floor right beside me, when he got scared or something woke him in the night. There was more than one occasion I almost stepped on the poor guy.
But that’s what Mommies are for, right? Our daughter would say, “It’s all good now.”
When the stress of this life gets to me, all I have to do is look around and laugh. Just when we thought we had our son almost grown, here we go again. Being a mom of a toddler again, well let’s just say, it’s just the best challenge I’ve had in years.  Honestly, sometimes I’m so tired from the stress of work, laundry, bills, etc., I think there is no way I can walk one more step. Then you come home to a hug and a kiss and “Mommy, I love you,” well it makes me remember just how blessed we truly are. Then when you have to stop and watch Beauty and the Beast and she asks you to dance, well that’s just awesome, but it also comes with its challenges. She’s our little drama queen, and can cut her eyes at you with her head tilted and crooked grin, well it will drop you to your knees, she’s a doll.
Between diapers, potty training, sippy cups and binkys, to college acceptance letters, scholarship applications, buying caps, gowns, announcements, congratulations ads, yearbooks, prom attire, and then there’s gas money on top of all of that, it gets overwhelming sometimes, but I couldn’t be more proud to be the mom of my two kids.
Our son will be graduating in June and then attending the University of Kentucky in the fall. Attending college is a big deal. There are deadlines, deposits, housing forms, application after application. We were so thrilled to get the acceptance letter one day, and the next day reality hit when the bill came. His daily schedule is full, there is accountability group on Monday, band practice at church on Tuesday, youth group on Wednesday, always something on Thursday, and then there’s the weekend. The little red truck doesn’t stay still very often. He’s going to Florida this week to compete in a business marketing conference for five days, so finding time to do all that needs to be done, it’s difficult.
I’ve cried ever since we got the official word he’s going to the big school, in that big town, far, far away. I know that’s a lot of drama, but he’s my baby and I’m going to miss him. I know it’s only Lexington, not Germany, but it feels that way sometimes.
OK, wipe my eyes, and keep going there’s work to do. It’ll be alright.
So here we are, managing through life like most families. One going here, one going there, always in a rush, dinner together is a luxury and dinner without the whine, well that’s just divine. So it’s out the door, rushing all the way, only to step on the old poor stupid blind dog also in my way.
Oh, don’t feel bad for TAZ, since he was just a pup, he was stupid, as I’ve always called him that.  He chases his tail around and round for ever and then stops and goes in the opposite direction. He is never by the door until you want to go through it, then he’s there and will not move.
Wear a pair of black pants, and he’s on you like lint. My frustration continues as he barks and barks when I leave, stupid dog.  When he lost his sight, then he just became a stupid blind dog. He’s just one of those parts of your life, that aggravates you to death and honestly he drives me crazy, but I still love him. My husband laughs when our daughter calls him “stupid dog” instead of his name “TAZ.”
Guess I need to watch my words, especially when she is repeating anything she hears lately. This could prove to be an interesting time in our lives. So as the world turns, our life continues to do the same. During this special time of year, I simply realize, no matter what aggravates me, stresses me out, wears me down, nothing is worth that much worry.
Life is too short. Enjoy the gift of life that you have been given and spend it wisely with those you love, even a stupid, blind dog.
Allison Shepherd is general manager and advertising manager of The LaRue County Herald News.