Monday, August 30, 2010

I Don't Care How Absence Makes The Heart Behave -- I Prefer Presence

Though he was only gone for two and a half days, it turns out that we ladies are allergic to Justin's absence.

He spent this weekend in Texas, pushing his bike-riding limits at a big, hot event, while we became sicker and sicker.  Lauren woke up with a head-to-toe rash, bright and flaming on her sweet cheeks, trickling down her belly and legs, but causing her no apparent irritation.  Mia bloomed with fevers, complaining of headaches and sleeping more than usual.  And I, his resilient, capable wife, floundered. 

I was bored.

I was lonely.

I missed him to the point that I couldn't sleep and had no desire to anyway, without him beside me.  It's been so long since he's spent any time away from home that I'd forgotten how much I dislike it. The dullness of it.  The unbroken hours.  The quiet.  (Conversely, the noisiness of a house settling at midnight evoking images of burglars and unseen creatures...)  But also the busyness that comes from being the only one caring for things. 

While I stay at home with the kids all day, it's different: he might feed the cat in the morning or check the mail at night.  He takes the pressure off of me for bath and bed time rituals.  He'll stop in for lunch midday, showering us with kisses before rushing away again.  He's present.  The promise of him is enough to keep me going when the afternoons become long and tiring. 

And without him, it's all me.  Every chore, task, ritual, and moment is mine.  I do them -- and I do them just fine.  I'm not incapable of anything (save mowing the lawn and wrestling....). 

But I'd rather depend on him.  I'd rather let him tease me for forgetting to give the cat water.  I'd rather gaze out the kitchen window as I make dinner, waiting for his car to arrive.  I'd rather flip through a magazine while he rough-houses with the girls.  I'd rather have him by my side in every activity and place. 

The old adage is true.

My heart does grow fonder.

But I didn't like the absence one bit. 


  1. I totally agree with you. My hubby is creative director for a marketing firm that is based in NYC / Philly - a few hours from us. He works virtually - but... occasionally has to go for overnights - a couple of days here and there. Like you guys, we are SUCH partners in our daily lives, that his absence affects everybody - my boys can't sleep - my oldest seems to come up with all sorts of things that need to be done THAT MOMENT but only he can do - the two year old asks and asks where he is....

    Lovely post. btw - nice lil' tribute ;-).

  2. I feel for you! It is so miserable to be without! And I am normally way more spoiled than you - my DH is around a lot during the day, in and out or working on ministry stuff or seminary homework. He was gone for 40 days this Summer and I just died. Never again!! I can't do three kids under 20 months for 40 days by myself! :P

  3. I would be no good with a traveling husband for those exact reasons. Some friends of mine did the Hotter than Hell race too. I hope everyone is feeling better.

  4. Aw. I hate it when my hubby has to be gone, and can only imagine it will get worse when there's a baby in the picture! Glad you gals made it through.

  5. Just went through a week without my hubby, and I completely agree.

  6. Posts like these remind me the dating that goes into finding that someone does pay off - thanks for the reminder

  7. I completely agree with you. It always seems like it'll be nice to have a quiet night alone with a bubble bath and girly movie, but I always feel SO lonely when Brian is away. Glad Justin is back where he belongs!

  8. Yes! That was me, and I agree. Especially the bed time routine and the house noises at night!


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?