This I Believe

Alan - Boulder, Colorado
Entered on December 13, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
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This I Believe – Poop

I believe in poop. Not in the sense that stuff happens, but the real thing.

At the age of 36, I was still single and never married. My life was fairly simple, made up of work, friends, dating and the occasional girlfriend. I started to accept that it was unlikely that I would meet someone with whom I would spend the rest of my life – and then I met my future wife. And she had dog, a Rhodesian Ridgeback.

One day, my love and her beautiful dog took a walk in the park. I soon learned that strange things can happen when you feed a dog something other than his regular food. I turned several shades of green, or so I am told, as the dog proceeded to relieve himself – four times. I had never had a dog, and so this was not the kind of introduction to pet ownership I expected. As if this was not special enough, my future wife pulled out a new latex glove each time the dog pooped. Apparently, she had a pocket full. It seemed that the pup had a benign tumor that popped out when he pooped, and she proceeded to push it back in – four times.

When we got engaged, we got another dog, this time a small Yorkshire Terrier. My fiancé wanted a lap dog and thought that a puppy would help prepare me for our future children. So I picked up after the dogs and slowly, my queasiness gave way to love. I began to gain an appreciation for the immense nurturing qualities that my now wife possessed, and that she was trying to teach to me.

The birth of our daughter took it to the next level. As if out of my own body, I rose to the occasion during my wife’s long and sometimes bloody labor of nine hours without passing out, which surprised both of us considering my frequent nausea during the movies they showed us in birthing class. I changed the bed pan, watched the birth, cut the cord, ejected a psychotically perky nurse from the room, and was fascinated when the midwife drew the cord blood from the placenta for banking.

Since my daughter was born, she has pooped in the tub while I was giving her a bath, thrown up on me a number of times, and I have changed diapers and wiped her little tush more times than I can count. At the age of four and a half, she is becoming more independent, and so I think we might be bottoming out on this thing.

And so, I believe in poop and all the other things that we, as living beings, produce as we go about the daily routines of our lives. Poop means life is present, and along with it, love. I have to run now, my daughter is calling from the potty, and the dogs need to go out.