Rob’s been in Texas since Sunday. I didn’t blog or Facebook about it because that’s like inviting serial killers to your house for tea.
“My husband’s out-of-town on business. Why don’t you stop by in the middle of the night and murder us in our sleep?”
When I spoke with him last night, he mentioned that trips to Texas might become a habit, which reminded me – again – that our house is not up to “Dad’s away on business” standards. There are no blinds or window coverings of any kind in areas that make it too easy for even the most casual observer to notice that it’s just Dee and I. With the absence of daylight becoming more pronounced, I feel quite exposed in the evening with all the lights on. That needs some immediate action.*
I am actually able to sleep now when Rob is away. Without leaving lights on even. But it’s not restful. I sleep lightly most of the time anyway, and his absence just attunes me that much more to the creaks and groans of the house, sounds outside that penetrate the windowpanes and to Dee’s restlessness across the hall.
Dee hates her dad being away. She almost takes it personally.
“It will be better when Dad is back,” she remarked.
“Aren’t I doing a good job?” I asked.
“It’s just better when Dad is here,” she is tactful with her dismissal of my ability to manage.
I reminded her that once upon a time it was just she and I, and I managed everything without any major mishaps.
“Yes,” she agreed, “but with Dad, it’s better.”
And there you have it. Dads are better, and I kind of have to agree. Single parenting is not a choice I would ever purposely make.
The threat of a traveling for business husband has got me thinking that the house needs to become a bit more ship-shape, and in a hurry. The kitchen is all but done. Just a few things left and the living room is nearly painted which paves the way for fireplace, flooring and light fixtures that aren’t hanging loosely from the ceiling. The old kitchen, however, is nowhere close to its future as a dining room, and it needs to be because Christmas is now 25 days off.
With his mother’s impending divorce, we will have at least her for the holidays. Edie, Mick and the future sons-in-law haven’t nailed down their holiday itinerary, as far as I know, but Rob’s youngest sister is making noises about a visit. CB even threatened to drop by if he could sneak across the border, but I have doubts about that. So Rob’s traveling couldn’t have come at a more inopportune time. Between the days away and the days he will need to catch up on his rest, this week is a wash, and the weekend is given over to the company’s children’s Christmas party and children sleeping over. The next weekend is my birthday, and I had designs on it that will probably need to be sacrificed for the greater good. It’s a good thing I will be 48 and not 8 or this might sit poorly with me.
The Texas thing has a stinky disruptive feel to it. We had thought that travel, and the specter of relocation was off the table, but its shadow is casting a pall again, and at a time when we were settling in and rooting deep too with the house on the cusp of being livable and practically perfect in all ways that matter. Isn’t that always the way of it?
Relocation would be better than Rob traveling or Rob having to be on some insane schedule like those husbands who work up in Fort Mac on or around the tar sands. I have a yoga teacher friend whose husband works three weeks, comes home for a four-day weekend and then heads back to work again. One of Dee’s little soccer mates has a father who is away for as long as a month at a time. If we were young, the awesome of good money might off-set the sucky of separation for a few years, but we are not young.
Rob and I worked the heck out of the LDR thing before we married. I daresay we were as good at it as a couple could hope to be, utilizing email, IM, and the phone to maximum advantage, but even with the addition of smartphones and Skype, maintaining an intimate relationships via technological aids is difficult. It’s like having another full-time job (if I had a job that is) and not really as good as being in physical proximity. But what is?
Dee is correct in her appraisal of the situation. It’s better when Daddy is home. Home is missing a vital component when he is not around. In a lot of ways, he is home itself.
Life is good regardless but it’s practically perfect in every way when my husband is here, and selfishly, I prefer the latter.
*And I also need to locate my big baseball bat like stick and find the hatchet that we keep in the bedroom of the holiday trailer for when we are camping in remote areas. Seriously, a nice sturdy axe does wonders for a person’s peace of mind.