R had just finished 1st grade and L kindergarten when we brought that fuzzy yellow lab puppy home for the first time. He grew quickly, and was with us — getting into all kinds of mischief — as we went on family trips, family outings, moved a couple of times and went through the absolute fun madness that is living in a family of 4 high energy people.
Now T is old. He has gone from sprinting away at every opportunity to barely able to walk on our walk. As I type this he is wheezing in a deep sleep on the floor behind me, a place that he occupies probably 22 hours a day. Honestly, I am not all that sure he knows where he is half the time. At the same time, our kids are so close to college. All the family pancake breakfasts and the family Mexican food dinners and the family pizza/movie nights in front of the big screen TV are in the past.
It makes me very sad. Those days when everything I did all day every day was about the family are gone, and I just don’t want them to be. I truly hope that I am allowed to keep those memories forever (dementia* is truly an awful thing).
* Note about warding off dementia: My wife read that balancing can help prevent dementia. So the yoga moves where we balance on one foot, trying to steady myself on a boat — those help ward off dementia. Who knew?? And who the heck thought to study that?? I’ve (literally) taken to standing on one foot when brushing my teeth or making my morning coffee.