I didn't sign on for another dog. But I have one a lot of the time because I have a grandpuppy. My daughter has an 8 month old mastiff pup. Zilla never does anything anything small or light-weight. Bigger and more intense is better in her book.
She is adorable. Both the daughter and the dog are. Does cuteness make up for the loss of autonomy?
I did not sign up for caring for yet another living creature. I've already taken over responsibility for the dog we got her in 2004. Am I selfish to want a few days without any one asking me for anything?
Zilla is moving out of town at the end of this year and I will miss her desperately, but I also need to find out who I am. I have less, probably much less, than half of my life left before me and I have never lived lived without constraints. Of course, none of us have. I suppose what I should say is that I have never lived without constraints imposed on me by others, constraints to which I did not agree. No woman understands the extent to a child will control her before she has one. At least I didn't and I was pretty savvy about such things. But the constraints a child imposes on the mother really does not count because of the biochemical brainwashing that is gestation. It is the biochemistry of love.
But sometimes love goes astray and we put ourselves before those we truly love. My mother had unmet needs to such a degree that she did not put her children first. Species don't survive when mothers act that way. I may or may not write more about that on this blog. Suffice it to say that it took a long, long time for me to understand what love was and that I kept finding the warped version that shared a lot with my mother's type of love before I felt the real love that emanated from my daughter toward me. She needed me and I needed her and I have always tried to put her first. Other than that I really did not have a road map.
So I'm sort of looking forward to a little bit of life experience where I am not being guided by caring for a child or someone who doesn't have my best interest at heart. Before I had my daughter (my husband and I got together in '88 and our Zilla was born in '90) I lived for others approval. Then I put my own desires on hold if they conflicted with what I felt was best for my kid. I will never stop helping her whenever I can, whenever she asks for help. Right now she still asks for more help than she realizes even though she doesn't life with us. She still lives in the same town, in the same neighborhood in which she was born and she grew up. I watch her puppy, I let her borrow my car, I drive her to the airport even when it is not at all convenient, I go to the discount food store and let her fill up her cupboards. A week without such interuptions will be strange.
I try to be free of superstitious behavior, but I have some qualms about thinking positively about my daughter leaving town. I am afraid -- a little bit--that I will jinx it. But fear is the real problem. It is okay for me to want Zilla to move away, start her own life independent from us. That will mean she is a healthy adult.
Once she is a happy and healthy adult I will allow myself some time to explore. In the mean while I will consider what I want to explore.