Maybe it would have been better if I’d had two sons. All and all, LJ was a piece of cake to raise and has given me few worries. That is after I got used to the idea he was serious about living in New York City. Mollie on the other hand is driving me nuts! Is it girls? Or is it just me?
Long time readers will already know, but to new readers – please take my complaining with a grain of salt. Let me state first and foremost, my kids are nearly perfect. They made it through childhood with no serious illnesses, no broken bones and no stitches. We had no calls from principals or police. Both finished college and are now gainfully employed, living in their own homes and do not ask for money. So according to what I see in the world today, I have NO reason to complain about my kids. That being said, Mollie is still driving me nuts!
LJ calls once a week to talk with me. We enjoy our ‘visits’ and he’ll tell me what’s going on in his life. He doesn’t ask me anything before he makes a decision in his life and I rarely offer an opinion. He and his husband live their lives with no interference from me. They don’t ask for advice and I don’t give it.
And then there’s Mollie. She asks for my opinion for most of the decisions she makes. She seems to want to know what I’m thinking. Many of these questions are about teaching and how to handle kids and parents. I feel I have good advice to give her along these lines and she often takes it.
But on other things she just wants my opinion and then does what she’d already decided to do in the first place. That’s fine, she’s grown. But why does she ask me if she won’t listen to anything I suggest? Why won’t she just do it and keep me out of the decision agony!
She wanted a house. I didn’t think the timing was right and that the expense of homeownership on her own would be more than she was imagining. She bought a house and loves it. But the expenses are more than she bargained for.
She wanted a kitten. I didn’t say as much about this. I knew she wanted a companion and I understood that. I still wanted her to come spend the night hereoccasionally and I knew that would mean bringing the cat back and forth. When a friend found a tiny stray… I got another grand cat. And this grand cat come when Mollie comes. And the friggin’ cat hates me! If I tried to pick it up or pet it while it’s here I think it would eat me alive.
And now… can you feel what’s coming next… yep, she wants a damn dog! A yapping, chewing, peeing and pooping machine! And not a little one. Oh, no. She wants a Golden Retriever. Okay, this is my fault. After working with for a vet for eight years as my first career, a Golden is about the only type of dog I’d want for my very own. We had one while she was growing up so that’s what she wants.
Ignoring all the puppy problems and expense she’ll have to deal with while working full time. I had one big concern and when she asked me I laid my concerns out. After pointing out the chewing, digging, barking, housetraining problems I told her my real concern.
This is my worry – this is a time of life I want you to have your freedom. I want you to be able to go on day trips to the mountains or the city to shop. I want you to be able to run to the beach for a weekend on the spur of the moment, visit your friend at college or spend a few days in NYC with LJ and Collin. Yes, of course we’d try to help some, but it’s not high on my list to be taking a puppy out at six AM on a cold rainy morning. As for boarding, most kennels are very expensive and BTW, dogs hate them.
But it’s more that you just being able to travel. I want you to feel comfortable going out to eat with friends and staying as long as you want. Going to spend the afternoon with your friends at the pool and coming home long enough to change and going back out for dinner and a movie without having extreme guilt pains. You are thinking of adopting a baby – and a pack animal. Dogs need to be around people. Yes, you’ll be off this summer, but school will begin again and the dog would be less than six months old. I don’t want you to feel like you have to stay home with her in the evening if you’ve been away all day. I want you to have a life. Yes, you can take her to walk (daily, a real walk) and you can take her to the pub, but movies, restaurants, shopping – that’s where you need to be, out with people not staying in because of the dog.
This letter isn’t to try and decide for you. It’s only to get you thinking. You’re an adult now – whether you deny it or not. Don’t give, ‘But she’s so cute!’ more power than logically thinking about the long term. You can decide any day of your life to get a dog – now or a year from now or twenty years from now. But once you get one, you’ve made a ten to fifteen-year commitment, food, medical treatment, exercise, grooming and of course, love. It’s a life change that takes thought.
See, I even write to her, because I think I can be more clear in writing than when I can see her getting ready to say, “Yes, but…”
This is not the time for her to get a damn dog! I think I spelled out the reasons simply and clearly.
I’m pretty sure I’ll be posting a picture of my grand dog soon.