Now the thank-you's have been written, and the laptop has become the toy du jour as software is loaded, tested, discarded, reloaded, and so forth. (iTunes was a bear; it took a couple of hours to transfer all the music!) Still, it's nice to settle into a little rhythm with my girl for one last summer before she goes away.
Do I want to be all alone after she leaves in August, with just the dog for company? Heck, no.
But it is what it is, and there's nothing I can do about it. I can't keep her here, and wouldn't if I could. She needs to get out into the world and make her mark. And I fully expect it to be an amazing mark indeed.
I guess I'm just so used to being a stay-at-home dad that I'm not sure what I'm going to do. And I don't feel like I have the freedom to explore my new situation as long as I'm stuck with the dog.
I am already so, so over the dog. He appears to worship the water I walk on, but I have only the slightest of sympathies towards him. I think I will always resent his presence and what it does to limit me at a time when I most need to be free to explore myself. My vision of a retirement spent on my laptop at Borders, sipping a vente and reading the London Times, has gone up in smoke. There'll be no hanging out with the guys at the comic store all day on Wednesdays. No shooting pool at the community center. No spending the day in the woods or driving to Baltimore or Philly or DC to catch an exhibit that's caught my interest. No, no matter where I go or what I do, I have to be home within two hours so that the dog has a chance to be walked...and doesn't therefore pee on the furniture or puke on the cream colored carpet. (He NEVER messes on the tile or laminate floor, only on the carpet. Go figure. Another trait with which to endear himself to me.)
I am so angry about this I don't know where to even begin to process it. And my wife is no help. I love her deeply, but the transition to electronic medical records at her office has her working at least 70 hours a week. This is not going to change any time soon. While I feel terrible about her workload, I also can count on little or no help from her with regard to pet care. I'm already splitting it with Olivia, and it will all fall to me once she goes to school.
Of course she loves the little thing. I can't recall the last time she had to clean up vomit or whizz, or shampoo the carpets; she gets the affection and I get the (literally) dirty work.
Well, like I said, it is what it is. Maybe fate will step in with something in my favor.
But I doubt it.