I miss you.
You come home from work and the kids run to you. “Daddy, daddy” they yell and screech and jump into your arms after spending all day with me. You give them hugs and kisses and put the mail on the counter and your coffee mug in the sink. I’m making dinner; you give me a kiss on the forehead as you walk past me to go change. We did it, we made it through another workday. The kids want you to play “chase,” and I need to finish cooking. You go into the family room, and I stay in the kitchen. I can hear you talking, and the kids giggling. I’m going over my mental list of things that need to be completed before bedtime, and I’m also thinking of how I could’ve been a better mom that day. I hear you make the kids laugh again, and it makes me smile. You’re in the next room.
But I miss you.
It’s time for the kids to go to bed. We have this routine mastered. You handle the pajamas and teeth brushing, and I do storytime and songs. I rock both kids, and then we switch. We joke that we are like two ships passing in the night as we brush past each other in the hallway. This season with little kids can be very demanding. We love it, but it also leaves a lot less time for us.
The kids are in bed, finally. I can go to the bathroom, take a shower in peace, and think my own thoughts, alone. Sometimes we sit down and watch a show together, but many nights we divide and conquer. We have dishes to do and laundry to fold, and I need to finish my work. I try to remember how we spent our nights before we had kids, or maybe even before we had two kids, but I can’t quite remember. We’re both in the house, just one room apart. Have we talked about our days yet?
I miss you.
Finally, the chores are complete. We collapse into bed and turn on an episode of The Office. I remember that I still need to order groceries, and our 3 year old wakes up crying, again, wanting someone to lay with her. You go to her, and I finish the grocery pickup order. I can hear you singing to our daughter from across the hall. It should be lulling her to sleep, but instead it’s me who can’t keep my eyes open. Have we had a full conversation yet today?
You come back to bed and turn off the TV. It’s late, and we know the kids will be up early. I say, “I love you,” and you say it too. You’re lying right beside me. It’s just a season, this we both know.
But today, I miss you.