Geoff's just back from a business trip and, although the impact of his absence is not huge on a day-to-day basis because he's normally working anyway, I missed his help with bedtime routines and mostly the wee bits of time he and I try to get most evenings just to catch up on the day and on life. We like to sit in our favourite chairs in our little library and chat for a bit; if the kids are still up, we just close the library doors for fifteen minutes and let them
It hasn't always been this way. Geoff and I have gone through some tough times in our marriage and there were times when I looked forward to any business travel one of us had to do. During those times, it became clear how a marriage might end...marriage can be hard...really, really hard. We did go for marriage counselling; unfortunately, the first therapist we saw, though lovely, wasn't a great fit for us, and the second was more than a little awful. After that, we felt too tired to try to build a relationship with a third. But the good thing that came out of the second therapist was that Geoff and I discovered a common purpose: We both hated him! We stopped going abruptly after a particularly appallingly-facilitated session, but we continued ourselves to work and work and work on our relationship. It was a momentum changer, so I guess we owe the guy for that.
It felt like a long road to recovery. We still work at things. But we did it. It feels good and I'm very thankful that we stuck it out and made it through - I owe Geoff for being more determined about the outcome than me at times. The whole process was character building for both of us. There are still bumps in the road and we can still drive each other crazy with our idiosyncrasies and yet I couldn't help but think, and be thankful, during these past number of days of Geoff's absence, about how much things have changed for us. I miss him when he's gone. It's not the kid-related help that I miss - it's him. It's how familiar his neck smells when I hug him at the end of a long day. It's how he doesn't eat dinner until I'm picking up my fork, too. It's about him praying with each of the kids before they fall asleep. And it's about how he re-heats my forgotten tea and brings us both a glass of ice water just when I'm feeling thirsty and wondering where my glass is.
I waited up for him into the wee hours of this morning, hoping to say hi when he got back from his trip, but at 1:06am I finally turned off my light and dropped off into a dead sleep. Apparently he was home just a few minutes later!
Ah well, we've got tomorrow.