Dave has been out of town all week. Usually we travel together, taking short jaunts or long roadtrips to run errands, explore our state and visit our loved ones. It is uncommon for our family to be separated. This is obvious by every one's recent behavior. Benton started missing Daddy while we were still at the airport. Aine asked several times if the random plane she spotted in the sky was his. Eamon was rather stoic, but he would often ask what day it was trying to gauge when Daddy would be home. Our family just works better together.
However when Dave is gone, there is also a simplicity. Perhaps it is of my own making, but I find that when it is just the four of us, we tend to have a slightly different rhythm. When I am left on my own, I cannot put things off knowing someone else will do it. I think the children feel it too. We eat dinner based on our desires not dependent on the clock and Dave's arrival home. We nosh on broccoli, cucumbers and bananas, all of which he considers grossly unpalatable. We stay longer at the park or museums knowing no one is worried about us and that we aren't missing precious time together. We stick more closely together.
Each night this week that we were missing our fifth, I read with the kiddos before bed. I then stayed in their room as they fell asleep. Once I heard the deep, rhythmic breathing of their slumber, I would creep out and work into the wee hours of the night on my knitting or sewing. Often as I was just putting away my work, I would be joined by a little person. That person was soon followed by two more until all four of us were snuggled together in one bed again. We all felt better together. Despite the simpler flow of our days, we were missing an integral part. The four of us all missed our friend, mentor, protector, provider, daddy and spouse.
With much anticipation Saturday night, we piled into the car to head to the airport. Once we had retrieved Dave, everyone settled into a normalcy that was missing during the week. He was shown many projects, models, and pieces of artwork. Little hands tugged at his arm insisting that he lay down with them while they slept. With bright eyes they listened to the stories of his travels. Each fell asleep contentedly in their beds and stayed there knowing we were complete. They are so glad he is home, and so am I .