An Open Letter to Mental Health Services in My Community
June 24, 2018
All They Need Is You
May 20, 2019

Trying New Things

I just found this unpublished on my posts page. I guess I got so busy I forgot to post it.

I’m trying something new lately where I get out of my comfort zone to do something that ultimately makes me happy no matter how much anxiety happens beforehand.

Today the boys and I (and Jeremy’s) friend drove 5 hours to pick a puppy. There were four to choose from and I had carefully chosen this breeder. (For anyone that wants to admonish me and cheer for rescue adoptions I agree but in this case after a year of unsuccessful trying I moved onto a very reputable breeder). Now back to happy puppy story. We expected to choose from 3 so the 4th was a nice surprise. I tried hard not to get my heart set on any one particular pup from the pictures because who knew which ones would get picked first. I also wasn’t picky on gender.

When we got there they had just had a sudden torrential downpour which left everyone scrambling to get the dogs out of high standing water. So it was very crowded and muddy in the kennels but eventually most settled down. Right away I saw a caramel coloured one obviously the runt of the litter. She was the first one I picked up. She snuggled right into my neck for a few seconds and then suddenly tried to leap off of my shoulder. The breeder explained that the runt had a big diva complex and she thinks she is bigger than everyone else and is out to prove something. As the boys got down and played with the puppies I struggled internally. I felt drawn to the tiny underdog with something to prove but recognizing that is pretty much what I deal with day in and day out at home and at work. Maybe some quiet, content, easy going in our home and my life would be better. I looked over and saw Corbin snuggling with an almost all black puppy.

The breeder spoke about although that puppy was the largest of the litter he was mild mannered and loving. Just what I was looking for. I really hadn’t wanted a black one, I don’t know why, I guess I had a preconceived notion of  the “Golden” part of goldendoodle. I held him and again he snuggled into me. Corbin tried to make a deal that if I got this black puppy he would stop playing video games forever so I said “Sure” knowing he would never follow through on that. Jeremy wasn’t too happy at first, he wanted the daring caramel coloured runt of the litter. But my mind was made up.


May I present:  Chavez Szymczak

Image may contain: one or more people and dog

I know it sounds like an unusual name. As most of you will know, we adopted our boys. We always joked with them that if WE had chosen their first names one of them for sure would have been Chavez because Chavez Szymczak (prnounced Shim-chak) is an awesome, interesting and original name. People think I am crazy but I don’t care. He’s my puppy and I will name him what I want. Can’t wait for him to come home in September 2018.



Tina Szymczak
Tina Szymczak
Tina Szymczak is a 40-something mom and wife with two spirited boys. She has worked in early intervention and as an advocate resource for families with a loved one with a disability. Now she also writes a blog about raising children with complex needs, trying not to lose your sense of self as you parent, and her struggles with mental health.

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