I wrote this note to Dave last week while he was in China.
But in the commotion of "single-parenting" I never sent it.
And since he's gone again this week (but this time in the same country), I figure the sentiments are still the same...
While you are on the other side of the world for a week things are different here.
We spend Family Home Evening traipsing through Costco.
Kids yelling "mom!" from two aisles away.
Flip flops tromping, scraggly hair flying, playing tag, hiding in the giant refrigerator section.
We listen to the radio full blast.
We are five minutes late for scriptures.
Max and Elle stay up late with me...one night decide we must make cookies at 9:30.
I vigilantly check each of our childrens' heads for lice each morning and night following enlightening news that Claire's friend she hung out with last week was "infected."
I feel itchy all week as a result.
Although I've triple-checked and I know we are completely lice-free I still dream of those things crawling around and it makes me freak out a little bit.
We go from Elle's volleyball games to orthodontist appointments to Lucy bawling about something or other in the middle of a parking lot.
I call for impromptu family-laundry-folding sessions and we laugh about the funny stuff that happened that day over our sock sorting.
I spend my evenings running to commitments (church obligations, a choir concert, book club, evening carpools) the children by my side for most, then jumping from correcting homework and quizzing for tests to sitting on the piano bench while kids plunk out their new songs.
It's the same routine when you are here, but when you're gone it feels heavy.
I think about how you'll drive any evening carpool without hesitation when you're home. You want to be there to watch the kids. They come in with stars in their eyes because you have built them up somehow on the way home. You only give sincere compliments and they know it.
The girls take turns sleeping sprawled across our bed in your spot. Their soft snores lull me to sleep after I crawl in to join them, exhausted in wee hours of the morning because I lack the self-control to go to bed at a decent hour when you're not waiting for me, our "pillow talk" as a lure.
When I want to tell you something in the middle of the afternoon here, I sadly realize you are sound asleep there and it will have to wait. And it does. And then I forget. And it makes me miss you more.
Sure, we survive just fine while you're gone. In fact, most of the time I get going on projects like I'm "nesting" waiting for a baby to arrive.
But when you come home our family is whole. And we can all feel it.
Then it goes on to some mushy stuff he'd be embarrassed if I included...wait, he's probably already embarrassed. Sorry Dave.
Needless to say, we're antsy for him to get home tonight.
Single-parenting can be rough. I so admire those who do it on a regular basis.
And I so admire Dave for being the help-mate that he is around here when he's home. (whoops, embarrassed him again...)
But seriously, I find it interesting that sometimes it takes him being gone for a while for me to realize how much he's doing "on the sidelines" when I'm bellyaching that I need more help around here.