my resolve is weakening

Years ago, I had a labrador retriever named King Oberon.  He had a severe case of obsessive-compulsive disorder; he simply could not stop playing fetch.  If he could see a tennis ball but was unable to reach it, he would pace hysterically.  He would pause with the ball in view and jump repeatedly trying to capture the ball for himself.  He barked, whined, yelped, and twitched nervously until someone came along and threw the ball for him to chase down.

Our black lab, King Oberon.  March 1994 - January 2005

Our black lab, King Oberon (March 1994 – January 2005) with my two oldest. They used to be so cute, now they are just messy and demanding.

My fourteen-year-old son is exactly the same way when it comes to snowboarding.  He sees snow and begins to pace, twitch, and whine until you release him to the slopes.

Unfortunately, you know by my last blog post, Cole broke his arm snowboarding a few days ago.  He spent most of yesterday attempting to convince me to allow him to snowboard despite the cast on his left arm.  Following are a list of his pleas, which I will translate for you:

“Mom, can I please go shred the gnar-pow?”

TRANSLATION:  Mom, can I please go snowboarding; it snowed recently and the powder is gnarly (in this case, gnarly is a good thing)

“Mom, I promise I won’t go BC, and I won’t hit anything jenky.”

TRANSLATION:  I promise I won’t go into the back country, and I won’t go down anything too treacherous.

“I’ll totally zag the wells and skirt the bomb holes.”

TRANSLATION:  I will avoid tree wells and deep holes.  (a tree well is the area directly beneath a pine tree where the branches protect the ground from snow thus creating a giant well or hole.  A bomb hole is an area of ungroomed terrain where the snow has settled or caved-in thus creating a pit.)

“Please, Mom, I won’t even lob the rollers.”

TRANSLATION:  I won’t launch myself off jumps.

My son is exactly like my labrador, and I must admit his constant whining is weakening my resolve.  By next weekend, I may cave completely, and if I let my son snowboard with a cast on his arm, I will either be the most neglectful mom in the world, or the most awesome mom in history.

However, if I let him go, I plan to remind him that if he breaks his other arm, no one in this family will help him use the bathroom.

Cole's cast.  It took me three tries to get this photo.  My obscene son kept raising his middle finger just as snapped the picture

Cole’s cast. It took me three tries to get this photo. My obscene son kept raising his middle finger just as I snapped the picture


I know a guy who will do it for $250

Meg with King Oberon.
(King Oberon, March 1994 – January 2005)

Queen Elizabeth’s corgi has died and I feel sincerely bad about it.

I have lost lots of pets, and it’s awful every single time.  It’s a deeply unsettling feeling not to be able to hold a conversation with an ill pet.  You want to somehow reassure or prepare him for what lies ahead, but all you can really do is scratch him behind the ears and let him sleep on the sofa.  It’s simply not enough.

Many years ago, I had a black lab named King Oberon.  He was one hell of a dog, and I loved him very much.  When we found out he had cancer in his foot, we had a surgeon operate immediately, even though it was a ridiculously expensive procedure.  The operation proved to be unsuccessful in removing the cancer, and the veterinarian suggested we amputate Oberon’s toe.  We looked at our sick dog, we looked at the looming bill, and we were paralyzed by indecision.

My dad had a wide social circle, so he started asking around and found a country vet with a solid reputation who would do the surgery for a fraction of the cost.

“It’s not a complicated operation,” the veterinarian said.  “It will be two-hundred and fifty dollars to amputate the toe.”

Sold!  We made the appointment, and the procedure went off without a hitch.

Several years later my dad was in the hospital with a severe staph infection.

The doctor came in to discuss options.  “We are going to stick with our current course of treatment,” he said.  “But, if we don’t see substantial improvement soon, we may have to amputate the toe.”

“Hey, Dad,” I said, “That’s not a problem.  I know a guy who will do it for two-hundred and fifty bucks.”

My mother hid her face and used her church laugh, a wheezing giggle she emitted when she knew she was not supposed to laugh, but simply couldn’t help herself.

My dad turned to me. “You’re not funny,” he said.