I Don’t Care How Absence Makes The Heart Behave — I Prefer Presence

Though he was only gone for two and a half days, it turns out that we ladies are allergic to Justin’s absence.

He spent this weekend in Texas, pushing his bike-riding limits at a big, hot event, while we became sicker and sicker.  Lauren woke up with a head-to-toe rash, bright and flaming on her sweet cheeks, trickling down her belly and legs, but causing her no apparent irritation.  Mia bloomed with fevers, complaining of headaches and sleeping more than usual. And I, his resilient, capable wife, floundered.

I was bored.

I was lonely.

I missed him to the point that I couldn’t sleep and had no desire to anyway, without him beside me. It’s been so long since he’s spent any time away from home that I’d forgotten how much I dislike it. The dullness of it. The unbroken hours. The quiet. (Conversely, the noisiness of a house settling at midnight evoking images of burglars and unseen creatures…)  But also the busyness that comes from being the only one caring for things.

While I stay at home with the kids all day, it’s different: he might feed the cat in the morning or check the mail at night.  He takes the pressure off of me for bath and bed time rituals. He’ll stop in for lunch midday, showering us with kisses before rushing away again.  He’s present. The promise of him is enough to keep me going when the afternoons become long and tiring.

And without him, it’s all me.  Every chore, task, ritual, and moment is mine.  I do them — and I do them just fine.  I’m not incapable of anything (save mowing the lawn and wrestling….).

But I’d rather depend on him.  I’d rather let him tease me for forgetting to give the cat water.  I’d rather gaze out the kitchen window as I make dinner, waiting for his car to arrive.  I’d rather flip through a magazine while he rough-houses with the girls.  I’d rather have him by my side in every activity and place.

The old adage is true.

My heart does grow fonder.

But I didn’t like the absence one bit.


Written by Sarah, originally published 30 August 2010. Sarah is a wife and  mother to two girls . She writes about her little piece of heaven, which she is sure messier and louder then the real thing at This Heavenly Life.


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