During one of those ever more frequent "when are we getting a dog" conversations that have started to occur around here, I made the point to the kids that for the first time in about, oh 24 years, I am not emotionally invested in anybody whose poop I have to clean up. That is really my only big objection to getting another dog. I just love my poop-free life too much right now to give it up. I really like walking around in my backyard at night without worrying about where I am stepping.
Freedom from poop is maybe one of the benefits of middle age. In your old age, you can't really guarantee that you will be free of dealing with it. But once the kids grow up, everybody should have the option of a few years free of cleaning up other people's messes. My kids still make plenty of other kinds of messes for me to clean up, but I guess those are slowly diminishing too. I don't have to clean up too much spilled milk anymore, and we don't have too many legos scattered in the hallway. Olivia is insisting that she is old enough to stay home by herself now, Duncan is dealing with the joys of job hunting, and Will is shaving, driving and towering over all of us now. It is a strange new reality, to have no more butts to wipe. And if I have my way, we will have no dog poop to clean up either, at least for a few more years.