I tell her. She searches, we aren't in “The Book”. Now I know I made this appointment two weeks ago I insisted. She searched some more and found us...we did indeed have an appointment... for NEXT Wednesday. Uh oh.
“Well, that just can't be.” I lamented, “We will be out of town then”, yeah, way out of town! She looked at me blankly, I know she just wanted me to go away and come back next Wednesday.
“Is there nothing that can be done? The dogs can't go to the kennel without their shots, who will take care of them while we are in China if they can't go to the kennel?” I pleaded...I whimpered and I remained stubbornly standing at the counter.
“Well, I can ask the doctor,” she finally offered. She goes away. I hear whispering. She returns and tells me that they will take me, but I will have to wait for who knows how long because there are other appointments that must be taken care of first.
I looked around, the waiting room was empty. But I thanked her and apologized for my mistake, knowing full well that neither one of us had apparently confirmed the actual date; she said Wednesday, I thought it was this Wednesday, she thought it was next Wednesday, and because she has “The Book”, that maked her right. And normally I would concede and go away and come back next Wednesday, but I couldn't I was desperate, the situation dire, I had be seen today.
While all of this was transpiring, the two dogs and my daughter have NOT been sitting primly and properly on a bench and waiting patiently. Oh no, daughter was trying to eat her Happy Meal, play with the toy that came with it (which of course maked some kind of screaming noise), and hold on to two leashes at the same time. She kept trying to slip the leashes into my unsuspecting hands every few seconds while I was pleading and attempting to look deserving and piteous.
Big dog keeps jumping up on the counter next to me. Little dog maintains a constant loud whining. Both start to bark hysterically whenever a person walks in the room, which was happening often because the technicians and the doctor had each come out to glare at me in turn. The doctor had gone so far as to tell me how this was going to make them all have to stay an hour past their quitting time. I apologized for the tenth or so time and tried to look contrite, but I probably looked more like some crazed stressed out cartoon character at this point. And when the appointment for which we must wait appeared through the door, the woman started back in apparent terror and scooped up her rather large dog in an attempt to scoot around us like we were some sort of traveling freak circus. Which honestly? I was beginning to feel like a genuine participant in. Oh my yes, “Come one, come all to see The Wild Barbarian Woman of Louisa and her Brood of Untamed Savages!”
And then, in the midst of all this chaos, an unexpected lull. The dogs were sitting, the child was sitting. I get a moment to glance out of the rain streaked window and attempt to calm myself. It lasted for maybe thirty seconds when my daughter drew in a sudden sharp breath. “Mom!” And in my mind I think, now what?!
“Look!” she exclaimed and held up her finger on which was perched a bright red ladybug. “Mama, a ladybug! She must be here to deliver a message from baby sister!” She held the bug up to her ear, “Yes? Yes, I'll tell her... Mama, the ladybug says to tell you that baby sister can't wait to meet us and to hurry up and get to China.”
“Really?” I said with true wonder, for there, in the middle of the waiting room of a veterinarian's office was a ladybug, which had chosen to rest, on of all places, the hand of my daughter, will wonders never cease.
“Well, lets give her a message to give to baby sister that we will soon be on our way.” We do this, whispering our love to the small creature and then taking her outside to start again her journey. And all was right and as it should be with the world again.