Column for Swedish Magazine by Mia Mattsson
Southern Italy 2010 –Olivia is five years old and Max is three years old.
Having children can often be a great and wonderful challenge. Children dare to be more outspoken, and in every conceivable situation. Also I have noticed when I give the children what I think is ‘good’ advice it is really me who should listen extra carefully and follow it instead.
Since I am not much better at keeping my own room in order though I desperately try…or do I, honestly?
One day the children and I went to the veterinary clinic with a sick dog we had picked up from the streets. His name was Lui, the locals told us. The dog was older and had been ‘happily’ homeless for several years. However, now he had problems with his joints after so many nights out in the cold. The dog Lui had also an internal disease, which had to be kept under control with medication. The children and I could offer Lui the following: a warm dog bed, good nutritious food, and the right medicine. Not to mention all the love we would pour over him. His last year would and should be good, we promised him. The vet welcomed us without looking me in the eyes.
Max, my son, protested loudly that one should always look into one’s the other’s eyes when greeting. Abashed, I smiled at the vet.
While the vet examined Lui, I updated him about the dog’s background.
“I don’t understand all these people who rescue sick dogs!” the doctor muttered.
When I was on my way to protest, he put the stethoscope in his ears.
I bit my tongue, smiling towards my children who looked like two small question marks.
“In my opinion this dog would never live!” exclaimed the vet. “You collect a lot of sick animals.” he continued.
My daughter Olivia looked at him with her wise blue eyes and replied calmly,
“And you collect a lot of negative thoughts. My mother always says that no one should collect such thoughts!”