Miss Night's Marbles

Musings, mumbles, marvels, and sometimes mockery, live from kindergarten.

#Kinderblog, Day 3. The highlights reel…

Aren’t you folks lucky – 2 blog posts for you, in just a single night! (Second one coming up shortly, I promise!)…

Day 3 of the #kinderblog post-a-day challenge asked us to write about the very best things about 2013. Because I love me some bullets, here you go:

  • I spent 5 days in Vegas with my buddies MattBGomez and JonFines. We had THE. BEST. TIME. Chrissy was there, too, and significantly contributed to The Awesome.
  • While in Vegas, I got to meet Audrey Penn, the author of The Kissing Hand. I was so awed and starstruck that I cried a little bit.


  • I spent 2 weeks at my very favourite place on earth, with my favourite people on earth, with my dear little Skip, and we visited SO MUCH beauty on the way there and back.


  • My teaching intern from last year “graduated” into her own classroom, and I get to watch her be amazing every day.
  • I got my new job (on the dark side, in admin), the kind of job I have wanted for a long time.


  • I got to hang out at conferences in Calgary and Vancouver, with some of my favourite #kinderchat friends, including @mauimickey, @mmekathleen,  @learningmurd, and @namesescapeme.
  • The Flood revealed all the things I love very best about my city, and made the most proud I have EVER been to have been born and raised here.


I just realised that, in writing about the BEST  parts of 2013, I included 2 of the WORST parts: the flood, and losing Skip. I hadn’t wanted to write about heartbreak, fear, tears, anger, here. Both of those events – one so hugely public, the other so intensely private – shook me to my very core, brought me to my knees, and are indelible marks of what 2013 meant. I’m not going to go down the trite, condescending, smug, road of silver linings or closed doors/opened windows. But I will say this:

Many years ago, a friend gave me a card that said

“Everything will be okay in the end.

If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

2013, you were okay.


With his ears cut short and his tail cut long…

**Updated October 19th, with NEW! PICTURES! Feel free to vote again!

Ok. So. The new puppy.

Through  a convoluted grapevine of events, about a week after I lost Skip, I got a phone call. From a dog breeder.

Not just any breeder, but a breeder of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

No big deal, except: they were the only other breed I seriously considered when I got Skip.

No pressure, she said. Just wanted to chat. She had a feeling I would  be a great home for a Cavalier.

She had a feeling.

No puppies just then, current litter all spoken for. Another litter coming in November. Should she keep in touch, put me on the list?

Sure. Put me on the list. What the heck.

A few nights later, sitting in my empty lonely too-quiet, too-dark house, with tears that would not stop, my heart so broken, my arms and lap so empty, physically aching from missing my little dog who never came home. Very very sure this was NEVER going to get easier. The hours would always feel this long, the house always this empty.

Literally in the middle of a sob, an e-mail:

One of the current puppies, suddenly available. He was mine if I wanted him. She — the breeder —  had a feeling I needed him, he needed me.

She had a feeling.

A quick, tearful, fervent, yes. The next weekend, a family trip, 2 hours up the highway, to meet her — the breeder.

To hold him — the pup.

To play with a yard full of the happiest, most beautiful, loving, healthiest dogs, I had ever seen.

Yes, yes, I will take him. Here is the deposit, here is my handshake, here is my heartbeat, here is my promise to be back in 7 weeks, to bring him home.

My friends, meet my new friend:IMG_8087 IMG_8090

He’s a Cavalier King Charles, and If you Google “black and tan cavalier king charles.” you can see what he will look like when he grows up.

He was born 3 days after Skip died, and I sort of like to think that they crossed paths up in doggie heaven somewhere in those 3 days; that Skip told him he needed to find me, and I would take good care of him.

He will come home on November 30th.

There’s just one little thing:

He needs a name.

And I am hoping you can help:

And, now that YOU have voted, if you have a children in your life, please help them vote, too. Skip was named by my very first class, and I always loved that. So ask your kids. Heck, ask your class.

I have a feeling…