Last night was rough. When he’s gone I usually fall asleep on the couch because the thought of going to bed without him makes me feel sick. Eventually, the reality of what I have to do in the morning sets in and a good night’s rest in bed seems like the more responsible option…so I turn off the TV and the lights, check the doors and head to bed. I’m asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow, exhaustion taking over. I got to talk to him for a little bit on the phone, but both of us were so tired we didn’t speak long. He’s in a different time zone now so I need to keep that in mind as well. I fall asleep praying for strength and thanking God for getting him there safely.
The first morning without him is wretched. Already the kids are fighting. What a great time to give up drinking coffee. At this point, something stronger sounds a whole lot better, but I opt for Spark and start making lunches. Homework that went unfinished last night is hurriedly being completed. It never occurs to the kids that maybe it’s best to do homework first and goof around later. They’re having a hard time balancing school work with extra-curricular activities and chores right now, but I’m not letting them out of their chores. They’re never going to learn how real life works if I make it easy for them. Anna is screaming right now…she didn’t get her assignment finished on the computer…but it’s time to go, so we leave. I have to drop the boys off so they can catch a ride with a friend’s mom to a math competition today and as we’re driving Anna yells at me “I was trying to get it done and YOU wouldn’t help me!” Really. Wow. I have so much to write here right now but what it all boils down to is the fact that my 9 year old daughter made bad choices and spent her time poorly and now it’s my fault her homework isn’t done. Her words hurt and I am angry, but I realize this won’t be the last time she yells at me in anger and frustration. Instead of going straight to school I take the kids back home so she can finish her assignment. No thank you, she just rushes into the house and straight to the computer. Off to school…he calls while I’m driving and we talk for just a little bit, both of us still exhausted. He’s doing okay, but I can tell in his voice all he wants to do is come back home. He misses us. The kids yell into the phone “Hi Dad! We love you!” but it’s not the same. He’s missing so much right now and he knows that…but the job needs to be done. I drop the kids off, head to run some errands and now here I am again at home. People would tell me to be grateful for the stillness of the house when everyone’s away but in this stillness I feel lonely. I’m use to the hustle and bustle of 14 little feet, conversation going at all times, little people running here and there…but I guess once again God gives me these moments of stillness because he knows I need them…probably just to recover from the morning’s activities. I need to focus on how to use these moments more to my advantage; to put a positive spin on this valuable time. After all, it is Friday which means my next moment of stillness after about 3:00 pm isn’t going to come until 8:00 Monday morning!
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