It’s like having another kid.
You know how much work it is, right?
Don’t you have enough living things to keep track of already?
We got a dog recently after months of begging from the kids, and these are just a few of the responses that come out of people’s mouths when we tell them about Griffin. (Adding a puppy to the mix of six kids is apparently not a wise decision to most people, many of whom are probably still stuck on the six kids part.)
To which I cheerfully reply: yep, we’re most likely crazy. Yes, we know it’s a lot of work. Yes, we’re aware that we don’t have to do this. Yes, I know we brought it on ourselves.
But hey, when you already have barely-contained chaos, what’s a little more? Plus, this is where the advantage of having six kids comes in – there are a lot more hands to divvy up the workload.
Although as I held dear sweet Griffin, our 9-week old mini-goldendoodle, over the toilet so he could vomit into it less than a week after we got him, I had to admit the naysayers had a point.
Really? I’m helping a dog throw up into the toilet?
And now I’m holding him in the van on the way to the vet and he’s throwing up into a plastic container in my lap?
And the vet bill cost how many hundreds of dollars?
So, to repeat – yes, we’re most likely crazy. Yes, it’s hard and ridiculous and most people don’t understand it. Yes, we have cleaned up pee and poop in the house. We’re probably pretty foolish.
But you know what? It’s worth it to see how much our kids love him. It’s heartening to watch them grow in responsibility and consistency, and it’s just fun to watch them run to him when they get home from school. I think he’s going to be a good thing for them, and it’s funny how the little bugger has already burrowed his way into our hearts.
A puppy was a good gift we could give our kids. If that means I’m foolish, so be it – I’ll be foolish for them any day.
Our foolishness pales in comparison to a greater foolishness that was set into motion more than 2,000 years ago, when the God who created the universe came to this particular planet as a screaming baby.
From power to weakness, from heights to depths, from splendor to squalor. Where’s the sense in that?
The Jewish people were looking for a Messiah to lead them. Instead, they got a pair of teenagers who weren’t even sure what part they were playing, but all they knew was they had to obey the voice that had told them what to do and where to go.
The people wanted strength and might and force. Instead, they got a baby who couldn’t even get dressed by himself.
They wanted redemption right now. Instead, they got to witness a few moments on the long arc of history, which was turning this foolish beginning into the greatest redemption story the world has ever seen.
The story seems foolish on the face of it, but to God it wasn’t foolish for a moment. It was his plan all along, and when the fullness of time came, he deliberately sent his son to be born as a human baby, live a full, perfect life, and die a painful, sacrificial death before rising again.
This was his intended blueprint. The day after Jesus was born, God didn’t stomp around in a cranky mood because he didn’t really want the birth to happen. His plan was in motion, and although it seemed foolish to the watching world, it proceeded exactly as he designed.
So yes, we might be foolish for getting a dog. But this Christmas, as we settle beside the fire with a sweet bundle of fur curled up beside us, I’m reminded of the first Christmas, when foolishness seemed to be in even greater supply.
I’m glad for foolishness. Without it, we would have no hope. With it, we have eternity.
Everyday Christmas is a series of Advent meditations designed to connect the everyday happenings of our lives to the coming of Christ to Earth as a baby. Find links to the entire series here.