The clock said 9:30am.
“I suppose I should actually get out of bed,” I thought.
This summer brought a magical gift. A gift I had only dreamed of. A gift I thought would never be bestowed on me….the gift of children that sleep in. Yep! It was 9:30am and both my girls were still asleep. Feeling a bit guilty for staying in bed that long and wasting so much of the morning (seriously I get to sleep in but now I have to feel guilty for sleeping in. this whole motherhood thing is exhausting) I rolled out of bed.
“Ahhhh coffee,” I smiled as I walked into the kitchen and turned on the coffee maker.
The first cup always seems to be the best. As I went to get the creamier out of the refrigerator I paused and remembered that my dad (he lives with us) was at Habitat for Humanity working on a house all day (his hobby…isnt that cool). That meant he put Kona out in the backyard (Kona is my sisters dog. She comes to stay with us for a week each summer when my sister is on vacation). Lazily, I peeked out of the kitchen curtain to see if she was on the backyard porch.
“Huh?! No Kona. Maybe she’s still downstairs,” I thought “but I could have sworn I heard my dad leave this morning. He wouldn’t leave her downstairs by herself.”
Opening the basement door I called, “KOOONNNNAAA come here girl!”
I walked down the basement stairs to double check that she really was not there. At the bottom of the stairs I look and look…no Kona.
“Maybe she’s out in the yard and just wasn’t laying on the porch,” I think trying to figure out where the heck she could be.
Back upstairs I go right the kitchen sliding glass door. I open it and bend to look out. No sign of Kona.
Scanning the yard for her my eyes stop….the gate…it’s open. Panic floods me. Just last night my neighbor and I (during our weekly True Blood viewing session) were talking about how she had lost one of her dogs when it jumped her brothers fence while he watched her dog while she was on vacation. My heart sank.
Oh My GAWWDDDDD Kona is not in the yard!!!
I ran upstairs waking the girls.
“Kona is missing! Wake up! We have to go find her! Go potty and come down stairs we have to start looking for her!” I say delivering orders as I run back downstairs.
I turn to see Olivia walking down the stairs, still rubbing the sleep out of her eyes and sporting her usual bed head.
Olivia, “Go open the garage door and look around out front. See if you see Kona.” Inside I secretly hope that she will open the garage door and find Kona sitting there just waiting for us to see her.
Rushing back in the house, “Mom! She’s not there! I don’t see her anywhere!”
Fighting back the tears and the emotion that is going to make me completely lose thoughts start to flood me…
My sister had trusted me to watch her dog. How is my sister ever going to trust me to watch her baby if I can’t keep her dog safe? My sister had trusted me. Kona was my responsibility. Oh my gawd Kona is missing. Kona is gone!
I call my neighbor.
“Kona is missing. She is not in the yard!” I say though heaving breaths.
“Ok. I’ll text friends in the neighborhood. We are awake and well get out there too to look for her,” she offers without hesitating.
“GIRLS!! Time to go! Get in the car!” I shout.
In the car I finally lose it. Thoughts continue to fill my head.
Whispering at me, making it all real…”She’s lost. I lost my sisters dog. We are never going to find her. How will I face my sister. Oh my gawd how will I live with myself.”
Closing the door of the car I turn to Olivia and Francine trying to take deep breaths between the blubbering messy sobbing tears. I manage to get out my words, “Roll down your window. I am going to drive very very slow. You need to shout as loud as you can for Kona and you need to look everywhere on your side of the car. Don’t miss anything, in front of the house, the side of the house, everywhere on your side.”
“Ok mommy,” they say softly with big, wide eyes focused on me.
Breathing in and out I try to regain control of my emotions as we begin our search.
First street done. Nothing. “We are never going to find her. This is going to be impossible. She’s gone. Who knows how long she’s been out of the yard. It could have been hours,” negativity start to invade my thoughts again.
We start down the next block.
Suddenly a tall slender gray-haired man appears in the street waving his arm over his head back and forth.
“Is he waving at me?… He’s waving at me!… He’s waving at me!!!!!”
I roll down the passenger window and say to him, “We are looking for our dog Kona. She is lost.”
“I have Kona,” he smiles, “She’s in my backyard,” he smiles holding his coffee cup.
Getting out of the car I am suddenly giddy. I fight back happy tears as I realize have no shoes on, I am in my pajama t-shirt and comfy shorts and oh my…my hair.
“I saw her this morning,” he explained pausing to noticing I have no shoes on,” and I didn’t recognize her so I called her over. She came right to me. She’s just been hanging out in the back yard. She’s had a couple of treats.”
“Thank you! Thank you sooooo much!!!! I can’t thank you enough,” I blubber in shock that we found her..he found her.
“Thank you again. Thank you,” I repeat dying to give him a hug and sob my thanks into his shoulder (don’t worry I resisted that urge.I didn’t totally want to freak out the guy).
Over come by happiness I smile as I take Kona to the car and put her in. I turn to him and say, “Are you a drinking man?”
“Aren’t we all!” he smiles.
“What’s your drink of choice?”
Hundreds of deep breaths later and all of us resting at home, I sit down next to my girls on the couch.
“Olivia turn the TV off Mommy wants to talk to you. Come sit by me.”
“Girls Look at mommy. What that man did for us was incredibly kind. He stopped and took Kona in so that he could help someone. He did that to be nice for someone else. You know when mommy asks you to be polite to other people, when I tell you how important it is to pay attention to others and be thoughtful to others?”
“Mommy feels very soooo very much that when you are a good person, when you are kind to others good things happen to you and others will do nice things for you when you need them. Do you understand?”
“We do mommy,” they say in unison with a nod that tells me they really do.
That night, with a case of Coors Light on a kitchen chair next to me, I sat and wrote a thank you card to the man as a tears ran down my cheeks. I thanked the man for not only giving us our Kona back but for showing my daughters that there are really truly good people out there, good people who will help complete strangers because it is the kind, thoughtful and nice thing to do and that I still could not thank him enough.