For some reason, I was given the independent gene. I don't know where it came from, but I have always been ok with:
- being in charge of a situation
- eating alone in a public place (what's the big deal?)
- managing things at home
- being the only grown up in the house for periods of time
OK, that last one I don't really love, but I do it. In 1994, I made a promise when I married Jon. To some, the promises mean love, honor, partnership, and togetherness. Because of Jon's line of work, our promises also included long stretches of time apart, 'single' parenting, and lots of extra work to keep our marriage tight. I promised to handle the hard times that Army life would bring, and I promised to be the boss at home so he could be the boss at work.
Well, you would think that after 14 years of marriage that I would be good at these separations. I'd like to say that I am, but I am human, too. I miss having him here. Even though we don't have a lot of time together - the Army demands a lot of Jon's time - I miss the sound of that motorcycle pulling into the driveway. I miss the 5 times (or more) every day that the phone rings, even though most of those calls from him are only a minute or less. I miss his presence. When he's not here, things function, but they don't. There is a certain silence at bedtime, when my room is missing another grown up and the TV is not tuned to Sci-fi :0) There is a strangeness at dinner, when the kids eat more ramen than they should and we're not wondering "When is Dad going to walk through the door?" I have a lot of trouble sleeping when he's not here - I leave the TV or the bathroom light on for company. (Friday night I woke up and cleaned up the toys in the backyard at 12:30 am because I couldn't sleep.)
So, today I am missing my other half. It's only been a few days since I talked to him, but sometimes those days feel like weeks. "Normal" families take for granted that their dads are home for dinner everynight, and don't have to go on month-long business trips (with little or no communication back home). They never worry about who will repair the lawn mower or figure out why the ceiling fan is a little more wobbly than it should be. They get the man of the house to do those things. When the man of our house is gone, we find solutions to those problems. (Now that Alissa is older, she is a tremendous help when she wants to be.) But, there is no substitute for the real thing.
So, in a nutshell, I am missing Jon terribly today. And, he doesn't return for over 21 days. I don't think he ever reads this blog, so I will have to tell him these same things when he calls again. Until then, I will miss him silently but press on, knowing that the world doesn't stop just because I am feeling a little lonely here in the eerily quiet house. Soon the girls will be home and I will forget what the quiet house sounded like just moments before...
There, that does feel better! Now if only he would call...