Responsibility - The Thing That Keeps Me From Blowing Away
Responsibility’s a funny thing, ain’t it? All the obligations and duties that you take on in the course of trying to put together the kind of life you’re trying to live, the stuff you have to do that comes along with the things you want, hopefully at least some of which you actually like doing, and even if you don’t you do it anyway because hopefully (there’s that word again) it’s all building towards something bigger that’s worth dealing with some bullshit.
Like taking kids to the doctor. Man, who the hell enjoys doing that? Show of hands? That’s right, not a soul. But it’s part of the parenthood package, so you do it and you don’t complain about it. Or maybe you do. Whatever. Take your kid to the doctor.
There’s this other side, though. Those roles you take on that manage to make your to-do list about a mile long and plunge a syphon right into your bank account but are still somehow (hopefully) totally worth it and you wouldn’t ever give them up, they come to define you in such a way that they keep you grounded. This is part of who I am and who I am is a person that does these things and whether I do them because I want to or because I have to may differ from day to day but the fact is I’m doing them because it’s my responsibility.
But if responsibility helps to ground you, what happens when it’s lifted off of your shoulders for a bit?
We had ourselves a few child-free days this past weekend. Not just an evening out where you have to get home to relieve the babysitter or a couple of hours in the afternoon while they’re at the neighbor’s house, but an entire weekend. My mom took the boys to her house in Houston, leaving my wife and I in Austin to do absolutely as we pleased.
Let’s see, we:
- Stayed up until well past midnight both nights.
- Slept in both mornings.
- Drank. We definitely drank.
- Spent more money than is advisable, mostly on beer and overly rich food, not to mention this hunk of fancy cheese. Don't ask me what it was because I don't remember.
In other words, the kind of stuff we did back in our twenties before we had kids. Except back then, we never stopped to reflect on how much we missed our children because we didn’t have any to miss. Weird how you can be in the middle of doing something totally fun that would be very difficult if not impossible to do if your kids were there, and yet they’re still kind of present by way of your pining for them.
But all that fun stuff, as great a time as we had, damn, did we pay for it. By the time we picked the little dudes up, the wife and I were both dragging. There were great big hugs all around. As we listened to them tell us all about the fun weekend they had with Nanny, I just kept thinking, “It’s so great to have the boys back so now we can get some rest.”