Fence Building Is Sometimes A Grand Act of Love

So there’s a song in the classic musical Fiddler on the Roof, Do You Love Me?


If you’ve never seen Fiddler, the lyrics are basically a slightly insecure middle aged husband asking his wife of 25 years if she loves him, and his wife (it’s a duet) telling him he’s a fool for not knowing she loves him based on all the years and hardship and good times and work they’ve been through together.

And that’s kinda like J and me, except gender swapped. And also, J actually tells me he loves me a lot too. I’m just THAT insecure and anxious sometimes.

In the song, the husband asks if his wife loves him, and her answer is, in a nutshell, I do all this work for you and our family, and I choose every day to stick around…of course I love you.

I’ve been feeling a little insecure about J and his love the past couple of days, and I am a fool. I know this. But just to record my foolishness for the cyber world to see, I’ll try to map out my emotional life for the past couple of days.

My mental health is more stable when I have a dog. That’s just a fact at this point. I’ve been more anxious, and sadder, and more insecure in the past year and a half (even pre-Covid) since our best girl passed on than I have since I lost my pregnancy before The Boy. It’s not been a good time. I wanted to wait until everyone in the house was emotionally ready to get another dog after her passing, and I’ve been ready for a fairly long while, but a pet in the house is a big commitment and a family commitment, especially from J. So then we got Little G. And we brought him home; neither of us really used to having a puppy (I’ve never had one and it’s been a very long time for J…his last puppy experience was in the late 1980s). Little G is adorable and sweet and snuggly and loving and funny and I think pretty smart. But I mean…he’s kind of a pain in the ass and he requires constant supervision and consistency. And he’s a baby who is making a huge adjustment and has a whole lot to learn about life and about being a part of our family. So he’s going to make some mistakes. And so are we. But when I feel like J (and to a slightly lesser extent our son) agreed to something that’s mostly if not wholly for me, I need to make it perfect and easy for them, or they’ll be mad at me. They might not love Little G. They might even love ME less.

But that’s not really true at all. I’m just an insecure fool like Tevye. And J is like Golde in that song.

See, all of last weekend, in preparation for Little G, J made sure our back yard fence was as safe and secure as it could possibly be, not only for Little G (who is SUPER little right now) to be unable to escape and get himself in trouble, but for some big and rowdy neighbor dogs to not be able to get INTO our yard. And he sprayed the back yard to limit biting bugs before we even brought the puppy home. And then we brought Little G home and even the sight and sound of the big, rowdy neighbor dogs frightened our pup. So J ordered a privacy screen, and he put it up as soon as it arrived this morning. And then he built some lattice fencing and a small barrier to make other boundaries for areas we’ve since found out Little G just wasn’t going to keep his nosy snoot out of, and he was small enough but fearless and tenacious enough to get into. And then J mowed all of our grass extra short. And then we let Little G out to potty (because you have to be on top of that and consistent with praise from the moment you bring a puppy home to find success), and the little scamp started chomping up grass clumps that the mulching mower left behind. So J raked up all the grass clumps.

Why would I question if J loved Little G? Or especially question if he loved me? There’s no way he’d put in all that work and choose to stick around if he didn’t.

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