Tomorrow it will be a week since Chris left for Sabbatical. We hear from him every other day, and I love hearing how well things are going. He is running into old friends and professors, he is enjoying the classroom discussion, and today he will spend the day with his Grand Rapids family.
At home we are missing him. Last night at bedtime I had my sometimes-so-grownup teenager, ask if she could curl up with me at bedtime because she was missing her daddy. Not long after midnight her sister (who always wants someone to curl up with) joined us.
In so many ways our daily routines have not changed. I still get everyone up in the morning, make lunches, ferry kids to activities, make dinner. We are getting everything done but we still missing Daddy. We miss his music playing in the afternoon, we miss his presence at the table, we miss him sitting on the couch beside us. They miss him nagging them to take their showers or clean up their stuff.
I find myself stretching to do things he normally does. I've tickle-cuddled Zee and Aay, because they miss that from him. I've put music on the stereo, or invited them to watch a movie or tv show with me. Without Chris, we so prone to sit alone in our different spaces in the house and do our solitary things.
It makes me think about what people miss about us when we are gone? What we don't realize we need and take for granted.
When I told Chris on the first day how Zee was blasting her dance music because she missed him, he said "She misses the fact I am noisy?". That is not it, I think she misses the fact that he fills up our quiet with invitations to interaction.
I am not Chris, and so I can't fill that void, but we are filling out days with other interactions. Zee is our extrovert, so she always asks for what she needs, sometimes it can feel exhausting but at least I know when she needs from me. So Zee and I have been working through a really fun set of vocabulary puzzles together called "Daily Word Ladders" whenever she feels lonely, she comes to ask if we can do a page or two. I am still trying to figure out how fill what is missing for Aay. Last night it was cuddles, so maybe that will be what I do. To just hold her for a little while each day.
I am missing the person who daily cares about all the stuff we do. Who cares as much as I do about the girls. Who runs up to tell me about some trivia, news or internet fight because he thought I would like to hear about it. The person who interrupts me when I get too deep into my introversion.
What is missing? It is a who, we miss you.