He shuts it off quickly and as I lay beside my eldest who remains deeply asleep despite the brief cacophony, I remember through my haze of sleepiness...
He leaves today for 8 days.
I realize now it's better this way. Him leaving so early in the morning instead of the day ahead...waiting, dreading for the hour that he has to leave. The clock tick, tick, ticking away. The day always seems to drag on with a pall of grey moodiness lying heavily upon it...my anxiety growing as each hour passes. It's been six years since he's started this job that takes him away for weeks at a time and though it's gotten easier, it's still not easy. I remember the first time he left for over 3 weeks when I was pregnant with our first child. I cried and cried. And cried some more. It seems so silly now. I only had myself and a dog to take of after all. There were probably a lot of hormones that had to do with most of those tears. I'll never forget the way my heart clenched and my throat closed as soon as I drove away from the airport.
I watch him as the light spills yellow from behind the half closed bathroom door as he gets ready, packing last minute toiletries. The bed slightly moving each time he places something in the suitcase sitting on his side of the bed. He doesn't know that I'm awake yet. And then he does.
"Sorry if I'm being annoying honey." He says.
I wasn't annoyed.
He's handsome, this husband of mine. Full head of almost black, wavy hair, beautiful green eyes framed with dark long lashes that my boys luckily inherited. A mostly straight nose with a slight bump from a break many years ago. I love the look of serious concentration that he gets when packing. I love to watch him, I love to listen to him talk too. And he still makes me laugh. No matter how much I've heard the same. Stories or discussions, I always enjoy what he has to say. Well. Almost always. Unless he's got something to say about how I stack the dishwasher or over pack the garbage or the messiness of the stove when I cook. Or when he goes on and on...and on and on...and on about every single shot at every single hole of his golf game.
But I digress.
I snuggle in closer to my big boy, feeling warm and cozy beneath the comforter as my son's body curls into mine.
I'm feeling a tiny bit guilty for the gratefulness I'm feeling, that it's him and not me leaving for the week ahead. I recall just over a year ago, the night before I went away for 4 days, how he found me in the bathroom, sitting on the toilet, muffling my sobs with a towel. I was going to Los Cabos, Mexico to attend my best friend's wedding. Bliss! Even still...the tears, the anxiety couldn't be corked.
I know he doesn't entirely enjoy the travelling for work but there are aspects that I think must be enjoyable. Dinners out at nice restaurants (though he always says my cooking is better than any restaurant's - now that's love), socializing with other adults. Even some time alone in a hotel room would be nice. But these are my thoughts, my wishes on challenging days with the boys when he's not here. They are not my reality. I know how hard it is being away from my family, I did it. Once. For a whole four days. I can only imagine how much he misses us when he's gone. And of-course we miss him. A lot.
He comes around to my side of the bed and kisses me sweetly on the corner of my mouth then leans over me to give Adrian a tender kiss on the cheek, running his hand down his back. He smells of soap and Old Spice deoderant.
We softly say our good-byes and I love you's.
I watch him walk out of our bedroom door, picking up his suitcase and shutting the bathroom light off on his way.
As I laid there, sleepy and comfortable, the head of my curly haired boy right next to mine, his chubby cheeked face turned toward me, breath warm against my cheek, no part of me envied that he was leaving on jet plane, so to speak.
Even if it was to Vegas. First class all the way baby.
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