My husband is in Edmonton on a business trip for a few days. He is not away very often, and we are lucky, as I told my daughter when she was crying about it, some daddies have to be away an awful lot.
When the children were small he went away a lot more than he does with his current job. To be honest, I used to sometimes be relieved to see him go. You see, our marriage is like this, or at least it used to be - we have mellowed over time: He is six years older than I am and our personalities are quite different. Sometimes it feels like he is my boss and I am a slightly wayward employee who works to his expectations for short periods of time between longer periods of living off in my own world with not much to show for it. On the other hand, he sometimes feels like a scolded schoolboy when I get the upper hand in arguments and when he is at the receiving end of one of my 'lectures'. Who knows how opposites attract? In our case I think it must be a question of balancing one another out, because somehow it works.
My very good friend, Toni once said, jokingly, that if she left her husband, it wouldn't be for another man, she'd leave him to be alone. Toni is a writer who works as an editor for a publishing house. She is rather introverted and needs time to think and ponder and formulate. I can't claim to be much of an introvert, but I also value my time alone. While my husband is away, my children are still here so I am not alone very much, except when they are in school. Besides, my boys stay up later than I do. When the children were little, and my husband was away I would enjoy doing things entirely my own way, with no one to question any decision I made, but after a few days of being the sole commander-in-chief I would get tired of it. After all, there was no adult around to bounce things off of, no best friend to get my in-jokes, no one tall to lean on, no one solid to lean against, and I would be so happy and relieved to see him when he got home again, as would the children (who always have been very close to their dad).
My husband called last night from his hotel. He told me they had given him a room with a king-sized bed. I told him he'd better sleep diagonally to get the full benefit - I used to be a terrible bed and blanket hog. Admittedly, I sleep like a log when he is not here. I am not woken up in the night when he gets up to go to the bathroom or when he tosses and turns (he can be a light sleeper), but then again, when he is here and I wake up in the night he is there to reach for - and in our busy lives it is that silent question often asked in the darkness of 'are you here for me?' and the answer, 'yes, I am here to love you always' that provides the glue that keeps us, and our family of six, together. And I am happier for it.