Tonight you return to us after an absence of nine days. In the grand scheme of things, nine days isn’t long. But these last nine days felt long. And I learned a few things along the way.
I had big plans for these nine days. A long (long) list of projects to accomplish to impress you, and (if I’m being honest) to impress myself with as well. I am a homeschool mom – I can HANDLE being a single mom for nine days. Right? Guess what I learned: This is not a Mommy-powered house. It requires both of us. I already knew you were helpful. A hands-on dad. A partner. But I’m not sure I realized the full extent of just how much you do around here. And I don’t just mean taking out the trash. I mean… everything. From brushing little teeth to making midnight potty trips with the kids. The dishes and laundry you must do in secret because I noticed this week when you weren’t doing it. The moments you let me steal and the productivity I only achieve because of the balance you provide. Not one of the things on that list was even touched – the three of us survived the day and fell asleep together, exhausted. Your absence was noticed in so many ways.
The flu hit hours before you left and kept me off my game for days. The kids were sweet, as helpful as they know how to be, but I learned that there is nothing like YOU to make me feel better. To ask if I need anything. To kiss my forehead. I missed that desperately.
While you were gone, things went wrong. Little things and big things. (Not that I’m surprised… Murphy’s Law is my biggest fan.) But a few of them really threw me for a loop, and I realized an ugly truth about myself: I have developed a tendency to lean more on you than on God. I reach for you instinctively, instead of Him. It was painful to see this in myself, but it was the good, confessional kind of pain that is the only way to move forward. God and I chatted, and now I’m working at righting my wrong. I can’t support you like I should if I’m putting my burdens on your shoulders (where they don’t belong). I promise to treat you like a husband, not like a savior. Because while you are fabulous and all, you just can’t fill His shoes.
The kids really missed you, by the way. They drew you… talked about you… raced to their calendars each day to count “how many sleeps” until you come home. They proudly told everyone where you were, and what you were doing. You really are their hero.
We have missed you. These last few minutes can’t fly by fast enough!
Love, Your Wife
P.S. We are hoping that you are SO excited to see us that you don’t notice the state of the house. It’s been a long nine days.