Hello and Happy Monday, 

I have been holding in a secret since June. When Joe and I moved into our home in October 2018, he has consistently been asking for the same thing over and over. And my answer has, until May of this year, I’m not ready. 

Let me back up a bit, I don’t like secrets. I’m not good with holding them, I don’t like knowing something I’m not supposed to, and I don’t like keeping things from people, especially those I love. 

Growing up, my parents made decisions for me, as I’m sure a lot of your parents did for you too. I assume they discussed and then presented them to me. Yet, if I have something involving Michael or Melissa I try to include them in as much of deciding as possible. I was as open as possible with them when it came to the divorce, meeting Joe, moving, you get the point. 

It is from my own awareness of being triggered by “secrets”, I parent the way I do, and I have created core values around secrets (or withholding information). As difficult as it might be, if I can’t say something to someone directly, I won’t say it to someone else. If I hear something about someone, as uncomfortable as it could be, I will tell them. Whenever I hear that someone was discussing me with someone else (and of course only in negative or problematic ways), it brings up old wounds. But that is mine to work out. 

This secret, that we have held, Joe, myself, and a handful of people, was for a really fun surprise for the kids. In May, I came to Joe and told him what he’s been waiting for me to say since we moved in, “I am ready for another dog”. I mean seriously, this past year has been awful, and with the transition of going back to school, and work, Duke was having a hard time. I thought another dog would be good for all of us and Joe was elated. I brought it up to a close friend and she mentioned that their current dog’s mom was pregnant with pups and maybe we could get one. A PUPPY? I never even considered a puppy. I thought, like Duke, we would go and rescue a 2-year-old pup, not a brand new puppy. Let me tell you, it was daunting thinking about what kind of dog would be good for our family, along with coordinating when we could all go to the shelter, and find a pup all of us fall in love with. But this opportunity worked, our friend’s pup, Kevin is 2 and we (the kids too) have known him since he was brought home. We all love Kevin and knowing this would be his brother and they would have the other pup that was in the litter, we agreed, and kept it a secret from the kids until last Wednesday. 

Perhaps you are thinking, this isn’t a big deal secret, this is a wonderful surprise. But for me, it is. Anytime I am not telling my children or loved ones something it weighs on me. When we received our new pup last Sunday, Joe spoke the words I had been thinking all along, “What if the kids are mad that we made this decision without them”. But I looked at the puppy’s face and thought, I don’t think they will be mad, and they weren’t. 

We decided to name our sweet guy, Freddie (full name, Freddie Mercury 🤩), Freddie means elf or magical counsel or peaceful ruler, he already is all of that! He is a Havanese Poodle mix and honestly so very sweet. It turns out, it was worth keeping it a surprise. (Picture below) 

I want to know if you keep secrets? If you ever held a big surprise? Or are you triggered like me?

Hope to see you live in person this week!! 

With Love, 
Jess