When Mom Met Max
Was that a stifled burp or a muffled sniffle by the man with the black bag (AKA my blonde husband holding his airplane duffle)?
Snort? Maybe it had been a stifled sniffle which had built up to a great nasal explosion, an expulsion of snot and sound. I waited to see if the man with the bag would pull out a tissue. I offered one, but he just laughed, or giggled—chuckled, really, under his breath. He quietly chortled, he muffled his chuckle, like the snort or the snuffle. What’s with the chuffle? Are we tigers now?
There I stood, impatient outside John Wayne Airport, dangling my hubby’s car keys above my head, ready to take off, jet back home. My hubby, on the other hand, continued to stand there, blue eyes twinkling, bag still held up awkwardly with both hands. Did he expect me to carry the thing? What did he think I was? His valet?
The corners of his mouth turned up, lips closed. The resulting look fell somewhere between a smile and a smirk…a smlirk, then? I shook the keys. They jingled lightly between my thumb and forefinger. My husband eyed the bag. His eyes eyed my eyes until my eyes followed his eyes to where our eyes eyed two more eyes, together, in the bag.
Out he had popped, a tiny Jack in the Box: furry wrinkly skin, squarish head, rosebud ears and pugged-up nose. The apple-sized fuzzy white head (boasting one adorable brown ear) peaked up from the flight duffle and I laughed. I laughed and I laughed and I laughed until I cried at this snuffly, silly, snorty, goofy, chuffly bulldog puppy—our puppy. Our very own, my very first puppy. He had one brown peanut shape on his lower back which wiggled and jiggled and made us both giggle. We named him Maximus “Bubba”—he had been born in Arkansas after all. My Max. My Bubba. Welcome home to Southern California, Southern puppy. Welcome home.