and his side of the bed becomes cool to the touch.
i think about having a husband who doesn't travel.
It happened so quickly - my getting used to his easy presence these last months when the economy has slowed his travel... A couple days here, a couple days there; this is the way to do things, i thought.
But travel can only be pushed off so long, and his travel bag itches to get back on the road - so reluctantly i surrender.
And here's the part where i post my
"If he doesn't call by
"When he calls, i'm gonna pretend i don't care..."
"i'm gonna call him..."
"No wait... when he calls, i'm not gonna answer the phone."
"i wish he would call me."
"If he doesn't call by 4PM, it means he's been killed in a car accident."
"i can't believe i wasn't gonna pick up the phone & he's lying bleeding and dying in a ditch somewhere..."
"i'm gonna call him..."
"Shoot. He's probably in a meeting, i'll wait it out a bit..."
At the stroke of the supper hour, the phone rings. A snotty baby sobs pitifully as he tries to climb into my lap. Nobody can find a cordless phone, and i'm attached to the wall in the smallest room of our house with 7 children all talking to me at the same time.
Breathlessly, i answer the call i've been waiting for for the past 26 hours and 14 minutes (if i were a counting sort of girl...)
"Hey, what are you up to?" He asks.
Beside me... mayhem. i hold the baby who is reaching down my shirt, smearing his gooey face all over my shoulder. Sunshine boy has stubbed his toe, and his indignant shrieks pierce the high heavens. My two big girls look at me expectantly mouthing, "What's for supper? We have to leave in a half hour!!" Two other children start arguing about the possibility of having friends sleep over, and my son tries wiggle onto the seat i'm occupying so he can play a game on the computer.
"Hang on a sec..." i beg. i hold the phone away from my mouth and give the death glare all around. Just as i'm about to speak into the phone again, baby howls brokenheartedly and i hear Neil's wry mutter from a province away, "Thanks, that's way better..."
"i'll talk to you later, it sounds like it's kind of crazy there right now..."
"Yeh... it kind of is."
And i wish fervently in that moment that it wasn't.
& i hope feverishly that he still loves me.
& i consider it a blessed good fortune that we don't have video phone because i look hideous and i wonder if he can hear hideousness in my voice.
& i try to sound nonchalant as i return the phone to it's cradle, and find a kleenex for the baby & count down the minutes till our next 'hello'.