As a mum, I want many things for my daughter. A healthy body, a fulfilled career of her choosing, lots of love from friends and family, great hair and the courage to follow her dreams.
Her talents and loves will be her own, I know that. As parents, we can introduce our children to many things, many things we love in hopes that they'll share in our passions. Some things might even be heriditary, if my love of farming, massage and midwifery are any indication.
Chou's apparent love of animals started early - her first real belly laugh was at a pug in the park - and besides her falling asleep at her first horse show, all animals have captivated her from the get go.
Getting a puppy wasn't just for Chou, of course, I've missed having an animal in the house since we last had a cat years ago. But in choosing Pico I had hoped, hoped, hoped that Chou would love her and build the kind of memories I have of our old farm dog. I think of how I trained him to jump fences and tried to get him to pull me on a "dogsled" (I used a regular collar and leash and tried to slide on my boots. Besides a lot of coughing the dog didn't do much). My cats, dogs, horses et al were my best friends and confidants growing up. I want that for Chou, but know that not everyone is an animal lover.
But if our mornings are any indication I needn't have worried.
Chou's first words in the morning are "Pico! Pico!" and sometimes "Daddy", but not usually. Instead of colouring on the walls, she now spends those early minutes before breakfast is ready running back and forth howling with glee as her dog chases her. She falls on the floor, the dog licks her and she giggles and giggles. When I pick her up from daycare, she looks past me and asks "Pico?" as I usually bring the pup with me. She gets jealous when anyone but she holds the dog.
It makes my heart sing.