Cleaning Out and Stocking Up

Dearest Rachel –

I left the house this morning to the sound of the dishwasher firing up; I stopped at the local wholesale club to fill my tank (despite the high price tag – it’s the first time I’ve ever put $60 worth of gas in the car at one go – because I’m sure if I wait any longer it’s going to get that much higher). The laundry room is empty of everything but what I was wearing yesterday, so the pile will double – for what that’s worth – before I finally head out, unless I decide to do a small load to ensure that the cloth masks I’ll probably still need yet (if for no other place than the airport, I can only hope) are clean and ready to go.

In short, I’m trying to get everything taken care of at home, so that Daniel isn’t stuck with too much to deal with on his own. I even made another grocery run yesterday (because I had another one of those ‘get $10 off of an order of $50 worth of groceries’ coupons), stocking up on snacks and cookies and quick meals to put in the air fryer in case he gets hungry enough to actually use the kitchen in my absence. He claims he can take care of himself – and in his defense, I’ve occasionally seen the credit card charges to Chipotle to prove it – but the more I leave him with, the less I have to worry about whether he will or not. After all, it seems like he can go days without much in the way of that kind of self-care.

What do you think, honey? Am I coddling him too much? Am I as guilty as your parents when it comes to underestimating him?

I know that as parents, we’re supposed to make life at home somewhat uncomfortable for our kids after a certain point, to sort of encourage them to go out and live life on their own, seeking their own fortunes. But until recently, his choices pretty much precluded him doing any such thing; his refusal to either get vaccinated (which, considering his age and gender being most susceptible to myocarditis, I can accept) or masked (which, considering what we’ve discovered about the worthlessness of cloth masks as a true prophylactic, is surprisingly fair – honestly, he’s a healthcare hipster, “I was refusing this stuff before it was cool”) made him something of a social pariah. Not that he cared, as he’d rather stay home, isolated from society. Neither he nor they wanted anything to do with each other.

That’s where I come in, taking care of whatever needs and want he might have. Like him, I don’t really have to go out and do anything in order to make a living, as you and your family have provided for the two of us enough to last us though his lifetime (to say nothing of my own). But I do find myself wanting to get out and do this or that, and if I can get something that makes his life easier in the process, all the better, I suppose.

It just leaves me questioning whether I might not be enabling him in his indolence. Maybe I need to leave him alone for an extended period, so that he can deal with everything life can throw at him. He’ll have to do something in order to address this or that need or desire, should one come up. And he’ll have to figure it out on his own, without me.

But for the moment, let’s do this a week at a time, and see what happens.

Until later, wish me – and Daniel – luck, honey. We’ll need it.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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