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Today would have been my big-love, big-feelings, big-headed, big-hearted boy Gavin’s 11th birthday. To celebrate, Mabel and I walked through her second favorite sniffer spot, Scioto Grove Metro Park. Her best-loved stroll spot is the tree line at my mom’s house.

I’m unsure whether it’s the ultra-quiet setting, the fact that my sweet girl gets to greet and get belly rubs from my mom and brother, or the plethora of goose poop she so happily wants to roll in that makes that scene her most cherished.

But, with all the big-to-us things Mabel and I have worked on and through in the four short months she’s been with me, the only effort I’ve put into her big-grin yet the ultra-gross urge to whirl and twirl in waste is encouraging and praising her for gyrating near (rather than on) goose excrement and wiping her down well before we leave the park.

After work today, I’ll be leaving Mabel alone for two hours, two.whole.hours. She’s ready, but as minuscule as it is to the world around us, it’s a big deal to me.

So often, we get caught up in what’s significant to us. It weighs on our minds during mundane tasks and wakes us up in the middle of the night. Then, when we read the news or hear of someone suffering or unsafe, we feel guilty and small.

Today, I offer us all this. Let us give ourselves time to process things that feel big in our bodies, minds, and spirits. Let us rest when recovering from losing or parting ways with someone we love who’s held ample space in our hearts for a long time. Because when we give ourselves the freedom to acknowledge what feels big today, we’re better equipped to help and give to the bigger world tomorrow.

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