Dads do a lot of dirty work. I know I do. It’s my role. I do dirty deeds so others don’t have to. Not all Dads are like this, but also, I am certainly not a shining example of what a Dad should be. I try, though, and my aim is to get better as time goes on.
Mistakes, I’ve made plenty. And I will continue to do so.
Last night, or this morning rather, it was Astro in his kennel at about ten to four in the morning.
My daughter, Jovi, woke me.
“Astro’s been barking and howling for ten minutes.”
She delivered the news wrapped in a blanket. All I could see was her little round face. After her report, she turned and walked back to her room. Poor kid. Twelve-year olds need their rest. Especially on a school night.
I went into the basement to discover Astro had shit the bed.
Now, he was attempting to pull the old gray towel that sits atop the kennel through the bars of his door. In fact, he’d gotten about half of it through. He’s smart, but I’m not sure how smart. It sure appeared that he was trying to get a clean towel into the kennel so he could sleep on it.
I spent the next half an hour with him and Spindle, his life-partner. Her kennel is next to his, so she had a rough go of it, as well. Eventually, after Astro crapped and crapped and crapped outside, and after Spindle made sure he was okay, we all went up to the empty apartment above our garage. It’s been vacant for months. The family, we use it sometimes for homework, watching movies, playing the PS4, and napping. I rolled up the rug in there and we went to bed. All of us slept soundly until the alarm went off at 5:50 am. He still hasn’t eaten. Spindle looks tired. I am tired too, but I’ll nap later. We’ll be just fine.
Anybody can get up in the middle of the night. I get it. I’m not special, but it does make me think of all the other deeds I have done and that I do. The litter boxes. The cat shit and puke on the floors. The toilets—cleaning and plunging. The sewer pipes. Lifting. Dragging. Hammering, nailing, digging, bracing, carrying, shouldering. The dead pets and animals—ours and those belonging to someone else, Mother Nature, God. Odd how many there have been.
I have amends to make. I don’t feel the guilt about living like I used to. Sobriety has opened up the light. I see it now. Feel it. And it helps me through. Everything will be okay. I’m good. Making the right decisions.
We have all done bad things, got off track. What’s important is that we get back up on the path or make a new road if we have to.
And that is what I have done. What I’m doing.
I’ll be watching Astro today as I work, paper towels and household cleaner at the ready.