This is the story (I'll try to keep the words to a minimum) of when Hermes became part of our family. This story starts with my youngest son, Mark, includes a "turtle" in the middle and ends with a little, white dog.
Mark was turning 13. It's a big deal to a kid, becoming a teenager and all. It's also a time that can be a little tricky since this age includes tweens and everything that goes along with being in middle school. Mark had a little extra thrown in on him, though. His two older brothers had left for their first year of college and they had taken with them 8 to 10 of their friends. These guys were Mark's pseudo-brothers. The entry way to the house had no fewer than 4 or 5 or 10 extra pairs of shoes in it at any give time, and the basement was always full of testosterone. I knew that when the boys left, Mark would experience an adjustment period (and so would I), but life decided to dump a little more on . . . and his dad left for Iraq.
So, Mark is turning 13, his brothers and their friends have left and his dad is deployed . . . the entry way now only contains 2 pairs of shoes and a border collie named Zoe. I had to do something. Over the past few years Mark would say to me that he wanted a dog. I would always say, "We have Zoe," and he would always reply, "Zoe is Nathan and Taylor's dog. I want a little dog." I think he threw the last part in because he thought he might have a chance if it didn't take up much room. When October came around, Mark started hinting about a birthday present . . . this time it was a turtle.
In my eyes this was perfect. I have always tried to make sure that my kids were at least somewhat surprised on their birthday and unwrapped something that they "forgot that they wanted." Well, Mark asked for a turtle . . . so I was getting him a dog! Ok, I'll wrap it up (the story, not the dog) . . . When Mark came home from school that day, there was a note on the door - "Roses are red, violets are purple, come on inside and meet your new . . . " He opened that door with such a grin on his face (I can still see it) and I think he had to stop himself from running across the room. He didn't notice the small kennel sitting on the coffee table at first, but when he did he just kept staring at it in disbelief. When he saw the puppy, he was truly speechless . . . there was a note, too . . . "Please don't call me Shelly." Happy birthday, Mark.