I am officially quitting Storyworth. It was a great concept, but some of the prompts were super triggering, so maybe better suited for more normal people with normal childhoods?
This week I was on the phone with someone who has quickly become a very good friend. She is older than me, so like my friend Liz, she has “read the book and seen the movie” with a lot of the parenting things I am experiencing. She asked as she heard Appa Bear bark at some suspicious person in the car next to us if I took the dogs with me everywhere I went. I paused, then said yes, they are my “errand helpers.”
They do like to do errands with me, but initially, I said they came with me because they did not like to be left home alone (hello, pandemic puppies), but after hearing my friend ask if they were always with me, I realized that I was the one who needed them to be in the car with me. Now that I am an empty nester (yes, we still have a senior at home, but she is almost never home with school, work, social life, and extracurricular activities) I realized I need to load those pups in the car with me for errands. I still want to have to take care of something, even though my human children no longer need me in this way.
The pups played a very important role before helping me with becoming an empty nest parent. They were, in fact, pandemic puppies. Like most families, we got 2 puppies when the world shut down. My pups were super important in helping me get through all of the social isolation. They also helped my teenagers who were stuck at home for way longer than anyone expected. I tell children (and adults) regularly with my work with Beautiful Together the benefits of being around animals. It is so so very true.
I am viewing my “errand helpers” as a very healthy coping strategy for surviving a global pandemic and becoming an empty nester. The only downside is extra dog hair flying around during all of those errands, and Appa Bear barking at suspicious people.