Opinion

Children keep surprises coming

Our Corner

Do the surprises that come along with parenting ever end?

I’ve been wondering that lately, especially after I wrote in my April “Our Corner” about our oldest daughter Amy’s recent surprise.

Her news caught the attention of some of you as well.

“I had to read your editorial to the end just to find out what her surprise was,” said my good friend, Maggie Dotson.

“That’s the point,” I said.

“Well, you kept me guessing.”

“So did Amy until she posted a picture of herself – with her nose stud – on Facebook.”

Did the surprises that come along with parenting stop there? No. For crying out loud, no.

Take, for example, the one Katy came up with a couple weeks ago. At 17, she’s much more creative than I’ve been giving her credit for.

“Guess who’s got his own Facebook?” she bragged.

I smelled another surprise forthcoming and it was being held right in her arms – all 10 pounds of loveable Grover and his adorable fur.

I flashed her a look of disbelief. “You didn’t.”

She tickled the terrier-poodle mix behind his ears. “I did. Come check it out.”

His tail wagged. I took it to be doggy language for “don’t you just love surprises?”

So there it was, for the whole world of Facebook users to behold: Grover Halone’s very own Facebook page. Posing in his Colts doggy T-shirt, no less. I especially liked the part of his profile that read, “I like long walks on the beach” and his membership in the I Hate Cats fan club.

The surprises didn’t end there. The next came last week as I prepared to head off to Idaho for a few days.

The phone rang. “Mom?”

This was the same voice that told me about the nose stud surprise, so, obviously, I braced myself again. We parents just kind of know when we’re being set up for something by the way they say “Mom” or “Dad,” don’t we?

“I was wondering…” Oh boy. Here we went again.

“You know that dog I fell in love with at the humane society in Yakima?...and you know how I’ve al-ways (she emphasized ‘always’) wanted a puppy of my own?...and you know how I can’t have one on Central’s campus?”

I could smell a terrier-corgi surprise 159 miles away faster than she could say “will you and Dad just keep him for me until I get my own apartment in a few weeks?”

Call me too easy, but I conceded. So on the way home from Idaho we stopped by the vet in Union Gap to pick up our newest surprise, all eight loveable pounds and curly tail of him. He’d just been neutered and was a bit groggy.

Still, his tail wagged. He flashed me an empathetic look while he rested his head on Amy’s shoulder. I took it to be doggy language for “don’t you just love surprises?”

We’ve enjoyed having Buddy at our place for the past few days. And I’ve got to admit, it might get a little lonely once he’s no longer here to play with his Facebook-celebrity pal.

Opening our home to Amy’s latest news reminds me that when surprises come – and they’re pretty abundant in the Halone household – the way I handle them becomes part of the memories I make with my kids. And because they’re growing up way too quickly, I choose to roll with the punches rather than make mountains out of molehills.

Although, I still have to wonder what Amy meant today when she mumbled something about Buddy and Facebook.

Guess the surprises that come our way in parenting never do end, do they?

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