I think all single parents feel overwhelmed from time to time. But this has been a particularly rough week in our family. I am coaching my daughter's basketball team which involves a practice during the week and a game on Saturday. I'm certainly not the best coach in the world, but I like to volunteer and spend time with my daughter. My dad always coached my little league teams and those are some of my fondest memories.
While I was at the basketball practice this week, my son was home with our dog. While he was correcting the dog for doing something wrong, the dog bit my son pretty badly on the arm. This was the second time the dog had bit him in the past couple of weeks. The first time was when he was trying to protect his friend who was also bitten by the dog. So I was forced to take the dog to the shelter.
We adopted this dog when he was about one year old. He just showed up on our doorstep one day and we couldn't find the owner. I'm not sure how he was treated the first year of his life, but for some reason he doesn't like men or teenage boys. He gets very territorial and now that my son is a teenager it has become dangerous and a liability issue. But that doesn't make the decision any easier and it has been difficult for the whole family.
My daughter loved this dog. (You can see a post about Buddy here) In fact, she is convinced that he showed up on our doorstep because she wished for him. For me it kind of made things a little more difficult. It wasn't that I disliked the dog, but he was a struggle from the beginning. If I needed to leave town it was even worse. (see post When A Single Dad Leaves Town). It was also difficult to find someone willing to take care of the dog. We were at the Grand Canyon last year and my nephew was taking care of the dog. He called because he was afraid for his life, so we had to cut the trip short and come home.
But now the whole family seems to be dealing with a feeling of loss and guilt. It is interesting that this weeks tool card is about feelings because we are having feelings in abundance around here. My daughter is actually handling things pretty well, but my son is feeling like it is somehow his fault. He is really torn between missing Buddy and wanting him and his friends to be safe. It was getting to the point that his friends wouldn't even come over to the house.
So I have had to validate a lot of feelings this week. The problem is that I have been having feelings of my own about the situation. This is when it would be nice to have another parent in the house for that emotional support. I'm sure we will all get through this, but there is definitely a feeling of sadness in our home.