The Smallest Volunteer
It was clearly known that I had a special event at the shelter today and it was very important that I get there in time for the ribbon cutting. The boys knew I was going and they had been hounding me all morning about when they should get ready to go. I walked into their room and I explained to them that I just couldn’t handle 2 small kids at an event like this because they could get hurt. Paris, who is the avid animal rescuer of the kids, begins crying on his bed. Bristol (his 6-year-old brother) looked up at me and said, “Mom, you have to let him go. It’s important to him. I will stay here so he can get to go with you.” Bristol then looked up at me with those beautiful smiling eyes and said, “Take him please.” I thought that both boys had wanted to go so I asked Bristol, “Do you not want to go?” Bristol said that he did want to go very bad but that it was okay if he couldn’t go so Paris could. I could feel those tears welling up in my eyes and I grabbed Bristol and let the tears spill onto the top of his little head. I pulled away and told him how very proud I was of him and that because of what he said, I would most definitely take Paris and bring him back a very special surprise for his kindness. Paris got up off his bed and wiped his own tears with Bristol’s blanket and pulled his brother in for a hug. He then told Bristol that he was his best friend and the best brother ever and that he loved him “more than anything”.
While Paris got ready to go, Bristol acted excited for him and talked about all of the fun that Paris would have. With every passing moment, I became more and more proud of these 2 little boys that I raised. Me, I did this! While they are a HUGE pain in the ass a lot of times, in one instant they showed me that I’ve taught them a little more than how to have a gutter mind and make inappropriate jokes. I taught them 2 of the best qualities a human could have, sacrifice and compassion. And while I don’t see if very often from them, it’s nice to know it’s there.
Paris and I loaded up and during the entire drive there he was so excited. I, of course, was a little worried. Paris has A.D.D. written all over him and he can be one place and another in an instant. I was concerned as to how much help I could be at the big event when I had a monster with me. I also was afraid that they wouldn’t let me help because I had him with me. While we drove, we went over the rules and animal rescue 101.
KC Pet Project greeted Paris with open arms and assigned us the job of making sure that kennel arousal was low during the chaos that would soon ensue. There could have been no better job for my little man. He was raring to go and grabbed his cup, filled it with dog food and set about his task. For 4 hours Paris walked up and down the shelter, kennel by kennel, row by row, throwing in kibbles and telling each dog that everything would be okay. His voice was calm as he would go past the noisiest of the dogs and reassure them that it was alright. I would see how the dogs would react to this small little creature and each and every one would stop and listen to him. They immediately sensed the good in him and it made me feel amazing. Paris took one break in 4 hours and that was long enough for him to grab a bag of chips and down it while he sat on the bench in front of the shelter. Once he was done, he was back at it again.
When it was time to go (because I was beat), I had to drag the kid out of the place. In those 4 hours, I never heard a complaint. He was the most perfect child in all the world. His damn Nintendo DS doesn’t keep him that content! Paris has a gift and a love for animals that is deep and strong. He has no fear and is full of understanding of them. Paris walked each and every row and told the dogs “good-bye” with a wave and a whisper. One particular dog named Biscuit, got what seemed like a thousand “good-bye’s”. I guess, I will need to work on getting that one out of there. KC Pet Project, if you are reading this, let me know. Anybody out there that wants to give my child an incredible gift, there is a dog out there that needs saved.
As we drove away from the shelter, I told Paris that I was exhausted. I said, “I bet you’re tired, too.” He looked at me in the rear view mirror with a twinkle in his eye and said, “You wish.”