The family left for sunny Florida last Friday and it's just been me here since then. I miss them a lot of course, but as I was telling my dad the other day, it's the dog's absence I notice the most. Working nights, everyone's in bed and asleep when I come home late each evening. But my Georgia is always quick to run to the doorway and do her bouncy-bouncy shaky-shaky thing. My dog owner responsibilities start immediately. I put down my things, pet her, say "Who's a good girl?" in that typical man-to-dog voice, and then take her out for her midnight constitutional. I sit on my porch in the quiet night with a leash in one hand and a beer in the other and it's the perfect end to a long hard shift at the hotel.
Of course, it's my beautiful wife and rambunctious kids I long to see most, but when I open my door each of these last seven nights and the dog doesn't run to meet me, that's the silence that whispers, "You are all by yourself." And so, with no responsibilities to anyone, I wander into the kitchen and take a beer from the fridge, pick up a Bukowksi book and thumb through it, looking for a nice poem to read before I get online. Blogs must be read, but first, something from paper.
I call Paige each day and get updates on the going-ons. Joshua is taking swimming lessons and it's not going well. Day one, he refuses to participate. He enjoys the pool here at the apartment and he enjoys it at his Aunt Carolyn's in Florida, but he doesn't want any part of these lessons where he knows that he'll have to dunk his head underwater. He just cries and cries and won't even try.
Day two, he dutifully gets into the water and goes through the motions with his teacher. He kicks as instructed. He moves his arms as she tells him to. I think Paige said that he even swam a bit by himself, not knowing that his instructor had let go of him. But he does all of this while crying and whining, "I want my daddy." As I hear it told, he is just miserable about the whole thing. But afterward, as he and Paige are walking to the car, he looks up at he and says with a smile, "Mommy, I love my swimming lessons." Wha? The tears before didn't prepare her to hear that cute little statement. Later in the day, he is telling everyone all about his fun lessons, but then tells his mom that he doesn't want to go the next day.
I await report on how today went. I think he might already be a better swimmer than me though. I have no idea how to swim. You'll rarely find me in the deep end, but you can often find me poolside.
Oh, speaking of poolside - Webb Wilder will be playing Frist Friday tonight at 6 PM. If I can justify the $8.50 (I'm so cheap.), I'll be there and hoping that he plays "Poolside," "Human Cannonball," and anything from 1991's Doo Dad.
If I go, should I look for you?