Saturday, July 4, 2009

Chapter 1

Pretend we're on a game show, Family Feud or something like it. The question is: After five kids, what do parents most look forward to?

Survey said...Empty nest syndrome? If you’re a parent, you probably guessed. A little bit of peace and quiet.

Not that our nest is empty yet. Our littlest two chicks have yet to fly the coop. I'm estimating we're seven to nine years away from that glorious day. But when the day comes, I’ll be ready for it. TV remote in one hand, and a beer in the other. I’ll settle back in the easy chair with a self-satisfied smirk on my face and I’ll say, well, I don’t know what I’ll say, because every time I get that far in my thinking, I get interrupted. As I said, the nest isn’t empty yet.

I got home early today, around four-o’clock. Six pack of Bleak Abbey Ale in a brown paper bag, along with chips and bean dip because who's got the patience to make guacamole? And a frozen pizza for dinner because it’s Darlene’s night out; my night in.

The dog met me at the door. Her name is Estelle. Don't ask. I know Estelle doesn't need a walk yet because my wife, Darlene, told me she'd walk her before she left for the evening. So I reach down and pat Estelle once or twice on the head and call it good. Estelle is a low maintenance dog, when all is said and done. Still, my definition of empty nest is no kids, no dogs. And no cats either. It's me and Darlene and all the things we should have discussed but never got around to when the house was full. A dog would only get in the way.

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