Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Rushing It

Dear Hubby, ever-faithful in his concern for our health and well-being, keeps us well-supplied with daily vitamins. Of course, this has nothing to do with the fact that the pharmaceutical company for which he works makes our brand of vitamins or the fact that DH can purchase them any time deeply discounted at the company store.

In any case, we never run out of vitamins.

Something strange happened recently, however, in our vitamin cabinet. The label on the bottle changed. It's the same brand and still a daily vitamin, but a different product.

Now it says "Silver" or something to that effect. And if you read the fine print at the top of the the label it says (gasp!) the following:

"Specially formulated for adults 50+"

Fifty plus? That may be well and good for you old folks on the AARP roster (which includes DH, who is 51), but I'm only 47!

Unlike some people, I haven't hit the golden milestone yet.

So why is DH supplying me with old people pills?

Isn't that rushing it? I mean, come on, give me the 2.5 years I have left to razz you 50+-ers about being old (despite the fact that I'm more gray than many of you already).

vitamins? Geesh.

"And just what does this have to do with Labs?" you ask.

Our sweet Pinot girl is a whopping 5.5 months old now--still a pup by any stretch of the imagination. But she's so sweet and so low key and so gentle (with people at least), it's easy to forget she's barely out of toddler-hood.

And because she's so calm (and because she's so much older looking now), we sometimes expect more from her than is reasonable or than she's able to give. We sometimes treat her like a little (in stature) grown-up. We occasionally assume she'll focus and pay attention the way the bigger dogs do. Or that she won't break concentration like mature Labs three times her age.

But she's just a puppy.

The fact that she can only focus well for 15 minutes, if that, has nothing to do with poor development or willful disobedience; it has everything to do with the fact that she's a puppy.

She's a young pup at that, just five-and-a-half-months-old. It will be at least a year before she moves out of puppydom, maybe more (Labs can take a good two years to mature).

But because Pinot is so sweet and low-key, and because she's seemingly so mature and intelligent for her age, we find ourselves unfairly rushing her development.

Not on purpose, mind you. We just forget.

Just like DH forgets that I'm four years younger and that I can still take regular (not-for-SILVER-folks) vitamins. ;o)

But taking "silver" vitimins can't and won' t hurt me.

Demanding too much too soon from Pinot, though, could hurt her spirit in the long run, and it will only frustrate us.

That's the same thing that happened when we treated our kids like little adults instead of the children they were (forgive us, Kiddos, for all those times we did that to you; we were learning how to be parents every bit as much as you were learning to be children).

In the grand scheme of things, there has to be time and grace for childhood to be childhood and puppydom to be puppydom.

And there has to be time and grace for 40-somethings to stay 40-something, instead of jumping into that "silver" thing.

Let's not rush it; rather, let's enjoy each stage while it lasts.

Besides, God-willing, there'll be plenty of time for that other stuff later.


'Til next time,


Mary said...

I'm so glad you said all those things about Pinot being just a puppy. Our lab is only 7 1/2 months old but everyone thinks she is older because she is big. There are times I have to remind myself of the same very fact that she is just a puppy. Why do we always want to rush our kids to grow up? If I had the choice, I would totally go back and be a kid again....if nothing else, just to play in the mud!

Anonymous said...

Joan...I know what you mother reminds me, lovingly, when I complain (at 44), "ain't it crap getting old." Wait a minute...I was 25 just the other day.

I ached when I read that a 10 year old out west, perhaps Washington State, is practicing as a vet technician. I cringe that she wants to play in an adult world when all she should care about is having a good time with her friends and relishing childhood dreams. I then asked, if that 10 year old can be an adult, does that mean I can relinquish my adulthood and go back to being a child. (Here the voice of my mother intercedes and says, "Are you not a child 85% of the day?") I miss those moments. I miss those days when I could just play. Be outside, enjoying nature. Skirting the edges of a stream in western Pennsylvania, looking for cray fish, frogs, and such. I miss playing in the fall leaves, building mud pies, 'witches' brew (a connoction of mud, berries, conifer needles, and anything else we could find), drinking lemonade under the shade of our apple tree, building snow forts and having snow ball fights, building the ultimate snow man.

How will that 10 year old be when she reaches her maturity? Will she be burned out and whinging about her choice; a choice I think is admirable but well, at her age? What will happen when she hits the preverbial wall of responsibility in her 'profession', when she has to euthanize an animal? How will she handle the emotional struggle? I could not do something like that at her age. I just don't know. I don't know whether to be sad or happy. Does she really know what she wants? And no I don't think this is like Mozart or other child prodigies. Similar but not the same.

I know a long post. I really enjoyed your post. Relish those days of puppyhood for both Kenya and Pinot.

Joan said...

Mary... ahh... so true. We all have to remind ourselves not to rush things. Me included.

LostinScotland -- how sad about the little girl in Washington state who already seems to have her life figured out (does she really?). What pressure for a 10-year-old! Our culture here in the US, with it's driven athletic programs and push for specialization (yes, Junior High kids are supposed to know what they want to major in college in now!), has lost sight of the benefit of play and exploration. We lose something when we dismiss childhood and childishness. What about the benefits of play or the infinite worlds of imagination?

It seems the older I get, the more I'm learning appreciate puppyhood and childhood and slowing things down a bit.

I so agree with your observations. It's great to hear from you.