I push open the door, puzzling over my lack of balance with work and life after another great meeting with librarians, writers and illustrators in the basement of a historic tavern. Orion greets me, tail wagging, his eyes looking tired. I glance around the kitchen for poop piles as he seems to be under the weather as of late and leaving me said presents to remind me both of my lack of balance and his lack of interest in my long hours away.
"Oh what's this Orion?" I ask, pointing to the shredded brown bag on the floor.
"Oh, that's your lunch that you didn't finish this afternoon, that you thought you'd pack again for tomorrow..."
"Yeah? And how did it end up in pieces?"
"Oh, I thought you were so kind for leaving me a peanut butter and honey sandwich. You know how much I love peanut butter and a challenge to get to my food. Plus that chicken broth and rice diet? It's just not cutting it. That's why you left me dessert!"
He wiggles between my legs to get his butt scratched again.
"And that was extra nice that you left me carrots. I do love carrots."
"And, well, I know you mentioned how important peas are too, so I took care of that bag too just in case there were any left... that's in the living room."
Wiggles back through.
"And well, don't worry, I pulled down enough silverware for Chloe and I because I know how important it is to eat properly. I tossed down some bowls too."
"Did you see the towel I pulled out too, to properly wash our paws?"
"I kind of wish you would've left us some water though... that one bowl wasn't quite the same as the toilet lid left up...."
He's smiling as he goes back and forth between my legs, appreciating his back scratchies.
I move into the living room. See the shredded pea bag.
I move into the bedroom.
"Oh, and Orion, did you just want to remind me how much I love to pick up poop in the house too?" I ask my trailing companion, as I see a pile in the bedroom.
"Well I know how much you want to relax in the evening, and how you are just about done with your paper towel roll. I just wanted to make sure you could use it all before the weekend. Just trying to help is all."
I go back into the kitchen to get the cleaning supplies while the voices in my head combat with my mood: "YOU'RE EXISTENCE IS NOT BALANCED. HE IS ACTING OUT. IF YOU WERE HOME MORE THIS WOULDN'T BE HAPPENING." verses "HE'S SICK. HE ATE A TON OF FOOD TONIGHT. BE PATIENT. THINGS WILL WORK OUT. CATHOLIC GUILT DOES NOTHING FOR YOU. YOU'RE DOING THE BEST YOU CAN. HE WENT FOR A TWO HOUR RUN TODAY. YOU'RE DOING THE BEST YOU CAN."
The light heartedness wins out for tonight. A precarious seesaw, and I kiss the tired boys head and tell him it's okay and we crawl into bed (of course after depositing the stinky poop)