Monday, December 2, 2013

Parenthood: Week 27 - Ohana

Ohana means family, family means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten
-Lilo from Lilo & Stitch
For the past four years, Buffy has one of the most important parts of our lives. We chose to have Buffy be an active part of our lives and we are committed to making sure Buffy has a full and rewarding life.

If you have read my blog posts about Buffy during that first year, you know about the obedience classes, the adventures in the dog park, the time we spent training her and how we integrated Buffy into our lives. You also probably remember this blog post about Buffy going on a plane for the first time.

In her life Buffy has been on a plane about ten times. When we visit my family in Seattle, Buffy almost always comes with us. Before Ollie was born we talked about the possibility that Buffy might not be able to come to Seattle with us if we were bringing Ollie.

We knew things with Buffy would change when Ollie was born and they have. We don't do as many outings centered around Buffy and her walks are a little shorter. As much as we'd like to do an agility class with her again, right now we have our hands full. One of the thing that Diana didn't want to change was bringing Buffy to Seattle.

Of course I would love to bring Buffy with us, but I was worried having never flown with Ollie before. So last week as I was stressing out about traveling with Ollie for the first time to make it home for thanksgiving, I wrestled with whether or not it would be a good idea bring Buffy. Diana thought that it would be fine but she was willing to leave Buffy behind with her parents if it's would make me feel more relaxed about the trip. We've never had issues with Buffy on a plane, but I couldn't help feel that at some point our luck would run out.

Then I remembered "Ohana."


Lilo & Stitch is one of the greatest Disney animated films of all time. It centers around two sisters who live together after their parents die in a car crash. They struggle to stay as a family as an alien lands on earth and befriend Lilo. This idea of Ohana takes on different meanings as the film follows their struggle to make sense of the situation in their lives are in a understand what it means to be a family. For Lilo, family means, no one gets left behind and I didn't want to leave Buffy behind.

So we did it. We traveled as a whole family on Thanksgiving morning to Seattle. It wasn't easy (I'll write a blog post about taking Ollie on a plane later). But when I saw my mom's face light up when she hugged Ollie and then lovingly petted Buffy, everything felt right. Buffy is part of our family.

At some point, we will not be able to travel to my parents' house in Seattle with Buffy and Ollie. It's going to make me sad when we that happens but I will be happy to know that we did it when we could.  Even though we will need to leave Buffy behind, she will have the memories of us traveling as a family to comfort her and the knowledge that we take her with us in our hearts wherever we go. 

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