"Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave."
- Martin Luther
I'd been dreading it for months. It's just so awfully inconvenient to have to parent on your own (All of you single moms and dads have my sincerest admiration) . But finally it was upon us, and I was all, "Let's just get this over with already." I got my game face on, helped my husband pack his bags then bid him adieu. He'd be gone two weeks at an out of state work training. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this, I began chanting to myself. And it turns out I could, and couldn't at the very same time. This was highly unexpected.
I had doubted I had it in me to physically accomplish by my lonesome what needed to get done - my four kids dressed, fed, out the door on time, delivered to their various practices, meeting with each of their teachers, helping with homework, putting them to bed, keeping up with the house, etc. When the stakes were high, however (Early on, I understood all too well falling behind in any one of these areas would undo me), I came up with the wherewithal to step it up. I'd been selling myself short, it turns out. I discovered first hand that my tendency to procrastinate, and lack of confidence, had been a hinderance for far too long. I sleep better at night when I give each day my all, and at this particular stage of my particular family's life, my "all" happens to require near constant movement - a willingness to sacrifice my pesky impulses for decisive action. Love in action. Love as a verb.
Where I didn't fair so well was in the discipline/overall parenting department. As only half a parenting unit, I floundered when it came to consistency and second-guessed myself often. I hadn't realized how heavily I lean on my husband as a support in this area. We are different as night and day, we can drive each other crazy but also complement one another far better than I'd imagined. Especially now as the parenting issues we face become ever more grey and complicated. After fourteen years of marriage, it is easy as pie to lose sight of the utter invaluableness of one's spouse, to tolerate instead of treasure one another. Troy's absence made my heart ache with fondness, with gratitude for all he does, for all he is.
To awake on Saturday with my husband beside me was delightful, comforting, energizing. Troy's soul is mystically linked to mine. And this sacrament that is our marriage is fraught with opportunities to commune with Christ, to foster unearthly peace by serving each other. Troy's rugged and enduring love for me only bolsters my belief in God's unconditional love for me. That is huge. That is holy. Welcome home, my dear. I've missed you.