Dr. Deb and the kids were home. I told her about The New Boss retiring. She was happy for him, sensed I was jealous, and asked me to look around. I did.
Blondie sat on the couch next to her brother, laughing like a hyena as the two watched a YouTube video. She was thrilled I wouldn’t fish again with The New Boss, ‘the guy who nearly drowned Daddy.’ The little girl who’d been my shadow for so many years had grown up, but never really moved away. A teammate once said, “She has every reason to be arrogant, and she isn’t.” It was impossible not to love her.
After years of tearing electronics apart, Brat Boy was putting finally putting them together. He was smart, funny, and kind. ‘He still kisses me goodnight,’ my wife liked to point out. ‘He’s not very particular, he still kisses the dog goodnight too,’ I’d say, knowing what she meant – the kid had a big heart.
I smiled at Dr. Deb. When we met, I was a fixer-upper the Property Brothers would have passed on. Divorced, broke, kicked out of school, in debt, newly sober, and working impossible hours trying to keep a mental health outpatient site afloat in the face of huge funding cuts. The stress diet had carved forty pounds from my frame, and I swam in the same clothes I’d worn when I was heavier. She was smart, beautiful, and clearly going places.
“Why’d you marry me?” I asked, rubbing her shoulders.
“You know why,” she said. “I wanted tall children.”
So many people new to recovery either never had anybody who cared about them, or had burned bridges to just about everyone in their lives. I counted all the people in my life who cared about me.
Today I’ll be grateful for the people in my life.
Burnout Training ©2018 by Ken Montrose
Burnout Training is a work of fiction. Any similarity between the characters and anyone you might know is purely coincidental.
Other works by Ken Montrose are available at: www.greenbriartraining.com https://www.pinterest.com/kenmontrose/mt-rose/