Seeing it from his side

Last night my husband stayed home with the kids so I could go out with some friends for sushi, it’s the only weekend I will have time before we move.  He was glad to give me a small break because he had spent the day getting ready to leave for 6 days on a business trip.  I hate it when he has to travel.  He only travel a few times a year, but the kids and I miss him like crazy.  I also hate it when he travels because I am the Mom and the Dad for a few days, as if being one parent isn’t hard enough.

When I got home everyone was asleep, tiptoeing in the dark I tripped over his luggage and I was immediately angry.  Not because he had placed his suitcase right in front of the bathroom door, but because it reminded me he was leaving.  As I was wiping of my make up I thought about how jealous I was that he would be in a conference room all day with to caterer meals.  After the conference he would head out for a few drink and dinner with some coworker, then back to his room to watch TV without interruption.  I would kill to eat 3 meals a day period, forget about gourmet dinners and martinis.  I crawled into bed and tried to forget about his trip… with no luck.

This morning I woke up still a little pissed off.  We drank our coffee and I tried not to let it show.  He spent most of his morning hanging out with G, watching cartoons, playing cars, and rough housing.  He even asked me to wake L up early so he could hang out with her too.  I knew it!  He felt guilty about all the fun he was going to have too!  I imagined him on the plane listening to his Ipod and relaxing; not handing our kids snacks or balancing 674832060 toys and a DVD player like I have to do when I fly with the kids.  I imagine him having time in the airport to get a coffee and read the paper while waiting for his plane, maybe he will have time to take a nap today so he doesn’t get jet lagged??  There is no nap in my schedule.  Why does he get to be the cool career guy?  Why does he get to go to big conferences and mingle with other adults?

When he was ready to leave he loaded the car and came back in to say goodbye to us.  The kids were waiting at the top of the stairs and L shouted  “Daddy, dadddyyyyy” the minute he came in from the garage, like he had been gone for ages.

“Are you going to work Dad” G asked.

“Well sort of, I am going on an airplane and I’ll be back in a few days.”

“Can I come?”

“No buddy you can’t”

“But why? I wannnttt to come with you.”

My husband tried to scoop G up, but now G was running down the hall yelled “I’m getting my shoes, I want to come too.”

I looked at my husbands face, a man who NEVER show emotion, and I knew his heart was breaking.  He held L and squeezed her tight; he laughed when he asked for a kiss and she puckered up and planted one on him.  He hugged G and told he would be home soon and he was sorry he had to go.  He told both kids he loved them and to stand at the window and he would wave to them as he drove out.  We hugged and he said “Why do they have to make it so hard?  I miss you guys already.”  All I could do was squeeze him tighter and try to hide my tears.

I watched the kids wave good-bye and shout “I love you Daddy” as he drove away and I thought about how I felt.  All morning I had thought about all the things he was going to GET to do, but I had not thought about all the thing he was going to MISS.  He was going to miss sleepy morning smuggles and tight goodnight squeezes.  He was going to miss blueberry yogurt covered faces and bath time splashes.  He was going to miss watching Discovery Channel and sharing popcorn with his buddy.  He was going to miss laying down in bed at night with the one he loves and waking up to the sound of “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy are you up?”  He was going to miss L saying all her new words and G counting to 10.  He was going to miss all the tantrums and all the funny things our kids do daily.   He was going to miss so much and I was pouting about missing out on a bagel tray for breakfast.  Really outs it in perspective doesn’t it?

I have received 5 texts from my husband since he left 5 hours ago.  Sometime I think we talk more when he is away because we realize how much we need each other to keep going.  He will call every night to talk to G about his and say goodnight.  We will all miss each other like crazy, but his job keeps us feed, clothed and a roof over our heads (and 2 weeks a year isn’t so bad.)  He will be back on Friday and until then I will be Mom and Dad, we will eat cheese and crackers for dinner at least once, we will go to the park a lot, and G will watch a little extra TV, and L might have to whine a bit while I fix dinner (unless we have cheese and cracker) and that is all okay.

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