Posted by Amy Peterson | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 21-02-2011
The Mom Chronicles: Fire Dog
My son, as most kids do, has a lovey that he has been attached to since shortly after birth. He calls it “fire dog”. Originally, it was never called more then “puppy” or “woof”. However, as my son’s obsession with firetrucks and being a firefighter and paramedic like his mommy is trying to do has grown, everything around him seems to revolve around firetrucks. It was no wonder then how his yellow puppy with the bright red ribbon quickly became his “fire dog”. Every fireman, afterall, has to have a fire dog.
What has been most entertaining, however, about my son and his unique relationship with his firedog, is how convinced he is that firedog is not just a real member of the family, but that he experiences things in the same way we do. So it was not so surprising then when my son informed me it was fire dog’s birthday and we needed to have a party for him. I did the ok, ok thing and assumed the request would pass, however, when my son was still insisting a few weeks later on this party I finally obliged. So last weekend, we got together as a family and baked firedog a cake. We decorated and frosted it. We lit candles, wore fire hats and sang happy birthday to firedog and took pictures. He was even given a couple “gifts”. My daughter’s stuffed lovey her horsey was among those invited to attend, as was our guinea pig, firebear and a couple other of my son’s favorite toys. It was quite the little party. My son did complain that I didn’t all out decorate the house as I do for he and Ella, but he was indeed satisfied by firedogs party and is already talking about what kind of party to have for him next year. I can hardly wait.
While this is all silly and fun and something I will have for years to share about my son and his unique relationship with his “firedog”, firedog has actually been a gift for me as well these past couple weeks. You see, I had bought my son Liam, my baby I recently lost through miscarriage, his first blankey and a blue stuffed Snoopy puppy I found, with none other then a red ribbon around his neck like Matthew’s long before he passed. Well, naturally this new baby no longer is going to be here to hold and snuggle with these things, but they have been my comfort to hold and cling to as I go through this whole grief process. Well, my son, in his own way of dealing with the loss of what was supposed to be his new brother, has determined that Liam’s puppy and his firedog are indeed now the best of friends. Before he leaves for preschool he snuggles the two up together and tucks them in to either my or his bed where they are to keep each other company until he returns. He brings me Liam’s blue puppy and asks me to play puppies with him and has adopted the puppy as if it was his own. For me, while I desperately wish that I had my other son to be here to play with them, having Matthew and his firedog take them under his wing and share the love that only a little boy can for his puppy and his blankie has been incredibly therapeutic. And to think I was worried that the poor blue puppy and blankie I got would never be snuggled by anyone but me.
The point in sharing this? It’s funny how firedog has become not just a gift to my son, but a gift to me as well. Firedog has become a bit of a symbol in my house of just how far reaching out to someone in need goes. My son brings me firedog or Liam’s Snoopy when he recognizes I am feeling sad and gives me puppy kisses with him. He talks to me in that little puppy voice and uses his firedog to express a certain love that exists somewhere with in that tattered, worn little thing. And while I wish I could express how it is that silly firedog touches me so, he really does. He is an extension of my son and while sometimes my son goes a bit overboard in his aspirations for firedog, when I stumble across him or he ends up on my lap, I can’t help but take a moment to give him a little squeeze.
We all need these securities sometimes. In our darkest moments we all need things to snuggle with, to comfort us, to be that extension of the love of others when those others can’t be there. As firedog is an extension of Matthew, the blue Snoopy is an extension of Liam, who while never actually snuggled with him himself, somehow lives with in him in a way that is comforting to me when I need it.
While not a “real” fire dog (but don’t try to tell my son that) Firedog has become a bit of a hero to me. Through him my son has reached out to me in ways I could have never fathomed were possible. Likewise, my son Liam reaches out to me through the puppy I got for him in ways I never imagined, but I would have never known this was possible if not for firedog. Who ever knew a stuffed yellow puppy with a red ribbon around his neck was capable of such incredible things?
Now, before I go, a final thought. While it is important to me to continue to share my story of grief and healing of Recurrent Miscarriages, namely our most recent, I also don’t want this to become the Grief Chronicles versus what it has always been, and for that reason while I will continue to share aspects of my journey here, for those of you looking for more of it or to share your own stories of loss, I encourage you to visit my blogs either at Area Voices or my personal blog which is www.hastingsmomchronicles.blogspot.com I hope I can be the voice and support for those of you out there who have also suffered such devastating losses while being the regular mom I have always been here.