A wet pair of shorts

I think happiness looks like a wet pair of shorts.

It’s a puppy running around with muddy paws, it’s a face flushed tomato red from sprinting across the sand, it’s hair that has escaped from a ponytail forming straggles down your back.

You can have happiness, or prettiness, but not always both.

A conversation between David and me, before bringing our puppy home last year:

Me: “So we should probably set some ground rules.”

Me: “Should he be an outside dog?”

Me: “Let’s agree that he can’t get on any of the furniture.”

David: “Let’s just make sure he’s happy and healthy.”

The first storm since bringing Riley home. He’s discovered mud for the first time. I know I should keep him inside – but look at his joy.

Riley is a splash of energy. He jumps in puddle after puddle, exploring, tasting, then always running back to me in the house, wanting to share what he’s found. I run around the house with towels and wet cloths, covering furniture, rolling up the rug, trying to grab him in a towel before he ventures too far inside. He wriggles around in a towel before bouncing back outside. We tangle on the floor, and he licks my nose, and there are paw prints on my shirt.

I’ve failed. There are streaks of mud across the floor and a pile of towels that need washing.

And it looks a lot like happiness.

You can have happiness, or prettiness, but not always both.

And sometimes I choose prettiness. I wind the windows up when I’ve just had my hair done. I refuse the walk when I’m wearing new shoes. I take the photo at the beginning of the night, when it should be taken at the end, with messy hair and a voice hoarse from laughing.

And that’s ok.

But mostly, I wind the windows down, I let the puppy in.

I get my shorts wet.

Last weekend, we took Riley to the beach on Bribie Island. It’s a stretch of doggy paradise and there were lots of families there. Running. Throwing balls. Making memories.

Riley’s a water puppy. He ran straight for the sea, testing out the waves for the first time, getting bowled over but getting straight back in there. The water looked inviting. But it was winter and I hadn’t brought my swimmers with me.

But I leapt in after him. And with the ocean around my legs, splashing and chasing a puppy, squealing as the waves hit, hearing David laugh, and then driving home sitting on a towel with sand on my legs and a lightness in my heart…

…yes – I’d say happiness looks a lot like a wet pair of shorts.

A wet pair of shorts

9 thoughts on “A wet pair of shorts

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