"It's funny," he says on the phone. "You don't really start missing me until you're sick of the kids...."
Which is not entirely true, mind you. For the new reader, my husband travels with a rock/worship/prayer ministry and he goes on these short-ish tours frequently, in which he is gone for about 2 weeks and I stay home with the kids. So.
And I miss him and there's kind of a general things-are-not-right ache, being alone, but you know, I like my life and my kids and I can soldier on pretty happily, typically, until about day 11, when I melt down and scream at everyone and cry and then we order pizza. That's when I really start missing having a companion, another adult that I can lean on. Even if he's recording, or super busy or whatever, I can close the bathroom door or put on headphones without having to worry so much about the 4 souls I am accountable for, and if they are, in fact, feeding chalk to the baby. And there's something very lonely about not talking, just normal day-talking to your husband, in person, shared experience and relationship to lean on. I talk to friends and it's not the same.
Then he gets home and I'm like, whew, relief, and I tell him all of the thoughts I have stored up during the weeks and I plan day trips to Lowes and the zoo, and painting the house in our spare time, and I am blindsided for YEARS now by how tired he is, post-tour. It takes a couple of days to get his land legs, so to speak, and in the meantime, he's here but not here.
I, of course, am the model of patience and maturity, bringing him coffee and not making too many plans. (That is all lies.) It does take grace on my part to back down and let him decompress, to realize that he's been working, too, even if also he got to parasail or something in addition to working. But doggone it, as soon as his eyes stop looking bloodshot, he's watching these kids. I have some tamales to catch up with.