I’ve been struggling with this blog lately, for a few different reasons. Firstly, the baby has been sick, she’s been teething, and I haven’t been getting much sleep or free time. But more importantly, I’ve been trying to figure out what I want this blog to be.
At first, I thought this would be a good place to document my efforts to keep some balance in my life while looking after my baby daughter. Pete and I have managed to do some biking, some banjo picking, some cottaging, some camping, and lots of other fun things we used to do before C made her debut. I have to admit that it’s nice to keep a little record of our lives during this time, because it goes by so quickly and it can be such a blur. I’m sure I’ll look back and be grateful that I’ve written these posts.
At the same time, blogging can feel self-indulgent. I’d like to be blogging about how I’m contributing, in some way, to making the world, or at least my community, a better place. I’ve always volunteered, and I’m beginning to think that I should direct some of my extra energy toward something positive and productive. I’ve considered a few different options.
I’ve been mulling this over for the past few weeks. I really want to be making a difference. I want to set a good example for C. The culture she is growing up in can be so narcissistic and I’d like her to be a generous, empathetic little person.
This was all in the back of my mind the other day when I went out to Dairy Queen to get blizzards for Pete and me. Pete would probably like for me to point out that we have Dairy Queen about twice a year (the last time was on two-for-one blizzard day, which was crazy). It was about 6:30 pm, but it had been extremely hot that day, and was still quite warm. I pulled into the parking lot next to an orange car and when I looked inside, I could see that someone had left their dog inside with the windows up. The dog seemed fine, but he was panting. I went inside, looked around at the other customers, and hoped that when I went back outside the car would be gone. But when I got my blizzards and went back outside, the dog was still there, in the car, with the windows still up. I considered my options. Go back inside and let the staff know? They were all teenagers running around trying to take orders, and I didn’t think they would be able or willing to do much. Ask around to see whose dog it was? That was a bit confrontational, and the thought scared me a bit (there were a few rough-looking characters in there). I decided quickly to just check the doors of the car, in case they were unlocked. The front door was, in fact, unlocked, so I opened it quickly and tried to roll down the window for the dog. The dog jumped into the front seat and for a split second I thought he would either try to attack me (he was a big guy and I was in his territory) or try to escape. The window didn’t roll down easily, since it was a pretty old, rusty car. I managed to get it down a bit and quickly closed the door again. I jumped into my own car and as I did I saw a man set down his order on a picnic table near the restaurant and start to walk towards our cars. I’m not sure whether he saw me close his car door, but he gave me a very intimidating look as he walked toward me. My heart was racing. I didn’t look away, though. I stared right back at him. This was a scary, scary-looking guy. I quickly started the car, drove off, and vowed that I would never do anything like that again. It was stupid. I put myself at risk.
I’m not sure if there is a moral to this story or not. I tried to do the right thing, but that poor dog is still living with that man. I didn’t save it. I put myself in harm’s way, and for what? I’m sure that guy didn’t learn a lesson about animal care that day. He didn’t have a Disney-esque change of heart and decide to do right by his dog from now on.
I’m hoping that the lesson I’ve learned is that there are many ways I can make a difference that don’t result in a frightening showdown in a Dairy Queen parking lot. And I’m hoping that I can blog about those things here. (I do realize that blogging about them is still self-indulgent, but hey, baby steps.) Whether I’m able to do so mostly depends on C, and those pesky teeth of hers.