Then yesterday just as I decided to embrace the emptiness of being the girl who missed her dog, love walked in. I woke up to a semi-panicked call from Deb, the mom of the girls I took care of last fall. The stomach bug had visited her daycare and grandma was out of town, could I take the girls?
Could I! Within minutes of E and L's arrival, I was smitten again. It was all dolls, and talking on the phone, and cooking and watching Umizoomi. We even squeezed in a whirlwind trip to the park.
L's doll of choice turned out to be Woody. She rocked him, and hugged him. He even acquiesced when she chewed on the hard plastic of his boot to relieve her teething. The things we don't do for love.
Despite the vicious gale-force wind, we ventured out to the park. I had more than a couple of flashbacks to my own boys as I raced about trying to keep up with two girls running in two opposite directions. L may be all of 15 months or so, but she is determined to keep up with E who is 3. She was fearless in her desire to climb even though she is still a bit unsteady on her feet. I felt victorious pushing the stroller home. Some days its enough for a tired mama to just bring them home in one piece. I remember those days so well.
Unquestionably, as much as their mom thought I was bailing her out, clearly it was I who was rescued. With giggles and hugs, running and playing, not even the wicked wind could strip away the joy oozing into all those no longer empty places.