Living with my Dad; Part Two
Since my post last week was received so well; I think I definitely hit a soft spot with most of you who are dealing with a parent that is either living with you or are taking care of at this stage of life.
I had been touched by your words and it is nice to feel like I am not alone in this place of being a caregiver to a parent. I thought we could have a little fun and comparison of the pros and cons of being with you parent 24/7. Here we go!
PROS:Dad loves to have a job. He has taken up the task of being the garbage man in our house. He will take out the trash whenever it needs it. He remembers when to take the big garbage cans out for collection day, and never fails to remind us! As soon as he sees the neighbors putting theirs out, he wants ours to be put by the curb too.
He is the expert now on being the "pooper scooper" for our dogs. Several times a day he will go out and collect any goodies my dogs have left. He has talked to my dogs about where he would like them to leave their "gifts". He does not like them to leave them in the rocks or bark. It is too hard for him to pick up. I will get back to you and let you know if my dogs are paying attention to his instructions.
My dad has become my protector. He makes sure I'm eating and that I'm getting enough rest. He will tell me if he thinks I need to take a nap, or if I'm staying up too late. He will stay up with me to keep me company (he doesn't know this is my time to myself and I actually love to stay up by myself) and as soon as I say I'm going to bed, then he will go to bed too.
He wants to do more to show his worth by staying with us, but we tell him to relax. We are here to make him more comfortable. I have noticed that giving them a job of some sort makes them happy.
This is where it gets funny. My father has been a bachelor for over 40 years. That being said, he never has to worry about things like a toilet seat that MUST be put back down after using it. My husband has been trained in this area because he lives with all girls. My dad doesn't care. So I have fallen into the toilet now a few dozen times. Instead of telling him not to and making him feel bad, I am training myself to look before sitting.I feel like a teenager again. I have a very busy schedule and life. Why then do I feel guilty when my dad says "Where are you going now? Don't you ever stay home?" I start stammering like a kid with all the reasons why I need to go out and how I will be back soon. My heart is pounding as I write this just thinking about it. Why do parents make you feel childish?
I am cooking almost every night again. After becoming an "empty nester" a few years back I thought my days of cooking like crazy were over. Then my youngest daughter moved back home and I cooked a bit more. After training her that I would not be cooking all the time and she could help in that area, now my dad moves in. We are a big family again that needs nourishment. So together we are all pitching in to cook delicious meals so we are all getting fed healthy. My dad will order take out on the nights we are tired and don't want to fire up the grill.
Every day is an adventure, I am learning so much more about my father and it is giving me more insight on his character which will help in the completion of my first book.
This has been a blessing in my life to spend as much time as I can with him through it all. I hope you will make your time with your parents count too. Write down those moments and keep them in your heart forever. They are a part of us and our children's future. Keep the legacy going.