Nevertheless, Bella's cooperativeness is impressive. Today I had to, finally, vary our walk. The path through my yard has become a muddy river, several inches deep of paw-clinging goop. So with encouragement, I drew Bella around the house and to the street via the driveway. We went past the scary car to the reassuring line between pavement and grass, and marched quietly into the fog of the morning. On our return, we renegotiated. Bella decided that we would indeed have to go through the tall wet grass to the back porch, and I capitulated.
Sometimes I feel like the mother of a newborn whose baby is crying and she doesn't know why. Am I a bad mother, will Bella ever feel unafraid, even of me? But then she comes again to the door at just the sound of my boots being pulled on, and silently waits for our walk. In our room at night she watches me if I get up to use the bathroom, as if she is wondering, what's up, Mama? And sometimes, she waits for me in a sitting position on her bed, whether it is for my return to the room, or to deliver food. I have to believe that a deep, slow connection is forming.
While secretly I still hope that the day will come when Bella can hop eagerly into the car for a trip to the park, I know that even if she stays the way she is today, I accept her and love her as she is. I guess that's being a mama.