A few years ago when I was living at home, the thought of my dad taking a vacation and leaving the house to me was met with much excitement.
Having the house to myself, along with my stepbrother at various times, meant we were able to get away with hosting various gatherings that wouldn't have been acceptable when my parents were around. We could be slobs, and take control of the living room and swimming pool. It was a taste of independence, and it was good.
When they returned from vacation, my dad and stepmom weren't typically too pleased with us. I recall getting in a fair amount of trouble on a couple of occasions, but I have no regrets.
Back then, they didn't have much choice but to leave the house to me; I lived there. I could watch over it, take care of the dog and cause some trouble.
Now, my dad asks me to watch his house and take care of the dog while he's away, whereas in previous years he did so reluctantly. He trusts there will be no parties, and nothing will get broken.
I agreed to watch his house this weekend, but not because I thought it would be super fun like old times. I probably owe him at least a couple of favors. Plus, I don't see much of my dog these days.
It will feel like I'm doing a good thing - helping out Dad in his time of need. But, really, I'll just be kicking back with a book and occasionally doing my best to keep the dog alive.
It's not super exciting, and it won't be a blast. But, Dad knew I didn't really have anything better to do this weekend anyway. It's strange how much things change in just a few years.