White Dog nuzzled her head against me and sighed. "I know you really enjoy the Opera and you so seldom just indulge yourself, but I miss you very much when you are gone so long." She was responding to my preparations for attending the second Opera in our four performance series because we are gone from mid afternoon until the wee hours of the morning. The fact that this was a world premiere, Life Is A Dream, that won a Pulitzer Prize, did not hold much influence over the White Ones as Quinn joined her in looking sad and abandoned. Adding to the pull to stay was the fact that severe thunderstorms were predicted and we were concerned about how Michael (as well as storm skittish White Dog) would respond to a possible power outage or just the intensity of desert monsoons.
White Dog, TOWD, and Michael took the high road in reassuring us and encouraging us to go and have a good time. "We'll be OK, momma," White Dog whispered to me, "I'll watch over every one." Meanwhile, The Other White Dog was telling Steve exactly the same thing. Michael wrapped his arms protectively around the White Ones and insisted that "we''l be fine...I'll look after things and besides I do have the phone, the cell phone and a flashlight. Go and have a good time!"
So go we did and have a good time we did. And when we returned White Dog waited on my chair with her report. The storm failed to reach us and it only drizzled for a short time. Everybody ate their dinner. And Michael had gone on a field trip by himself and had returned safely! "What?" I asked, very surprised.
We live just a block and an half off of historic Route 66. This weekend the boutiques and stores along our stretch had closed down the street and sponsored a summer street fair with booths, classic cars, music and other entertainments. Michael and Quinn had earlier in the day walked to the end of the block to peek at what was happening and Michael was intrigued by the festival. "Maybe I'll go check out the fair while you are gone," he said after finding out that it lasted until midnight. We encouraged him but really thought the possibility of such independence unlikely.
The first clue that we had misjudged was that the deadbolt on the front door was locked. We had locked up the house when we left for the Opera and never lock that bolt unless we are travelling. When we returned it was set. White Dog's report had us happily wondering and when Michael came from his room to welcome us home (at 1am) he confirmed his adventure!
We were all so proud of him and this big step, even though White Dog and TOWD groused because he did not take them along.