And apparently, my son is having second thoughts about forgetting to take care of his guinea pig for weeks on end. I found this in my printer last night:
I Know What I Want for My BirthdayA few days ago I got home from school and I heard Charlie Brown making his usual “get me carrots” sound. Right away I knew why I had been feeling empty inside. I missed having a pet. I know that your first response is a quick “No, remember last time you had to have a pet?” but hear me out. I think that I have changed for the better and am more responsible then I was a year ago.
When I came home one day and you had given Gretzky to Carly I felt like I had failed (I know that I did), but I want to revise that. Constantly hearing him cry for food and seeing his long, untrimmed nails made me realize that I ruined his life. When he was in Carly’s possession and he got sick, and stayed sick, I knew it was MY fault, not anyone else’s MINE. I said that he was going to die, just out of grief, and I apologize, if it still means anything. If you give me another chance I promise you that all those terrible things will change.
I believe that I am more responsible now. I can take on a challenge and win. I can raise a happy animal of my own. I understand where you are coming from if you reject me but, I will be disappointed.
I would like to make an outdoor hutch/run combo and get a rabbit/ guinea pig. I think this could be an opportunity for me because it would teach me to take care of an animal and responsibility. I think maybe I could put it in the front garden and plant around it. I would get sod and lay it down to make the hutch grassy.
He is going to be 13. Most kids would probably want a laptop or a computer game, right?
I feel like I've been kicked in the stomach and want to run right out and get him a fuzzy little creature. Except...we already have TWO fuzzy creatures. The guinea pig (formerly Gretsky, renamed Charlie Brown when my daughter "took over" a term I use loosely as she rarely cares for him) and the dog. Does he care for either of them voluntarily? No. When asked he will do it most times without complaint. Most times.
But the guilt... is he feeling that guilty about the sick guinea? My word, then why was I the ONLY ONE to bring the poor thing veggies a few times a day, make sure his food and water were full and his bedding was changed?
Something I will never tell my boy: I thought he was going to die too kiddo and I might have even suggested that your father hit him square on the head with a shovel because the poor thing sounded and looked so miserable, a wheezy rattle with every breath - I was sure he wouldn't make the winter. But he did. Miracle? Maybe, but give me the 1980 Olympic Hockey team miracle any day over this one....
I am heartsick when I read his letter - he's so logical and for him, emotional. It's probably the truest thing he's written that I've ever read. I do feel bad that he feels so badly but I have to steel myself and remember that he has every opportunity to hold and care for Mr. Charlie Brown and he doesn't even look in there most days. Is Charlie Brown's life ruined? Maybe it is. He seems pretty chipper though, squeaking when the fridge opens and running around his cage.
The logical side of me is screaming Noooooo. And then I reread the letter and think 'How long does a bunny live for? Will he be leaving for college with a rabbit in the backseat?' and then I'm back to No. Never. And then I think 'Well, another guinea pig cage wouldn't fit anywhere would it? Can two males live together in one cage?' And then I'm thinking No. Uh-uh. And then I think....
You see where this is going.
So anyway, I'm just sharing here so that I can remain strong(ish). And really, when he came home from school that day to hear the guinea pig squeaking...did he bring him some veggies or did he grab himself a gatorade and a snack and drop himself in the chair to watch Pawn Stars onDemand?