Anyone who knows me at all, or has read previous posts from my old blog knows that my husband travels for work. Some months, a lot; others, hardly at all. It's not ideal for family life, but we make it work and most of the time remember to be grateful and feel lucky that we have the life we do.
There are, of course, the obvious things one might complain about given the situation: shouldering all of the parenting and household responsibilities for a lot of the time, prioritizing his work demands over important family events, readjusting our routines as he comes and goes, but mostly just missing him when he's not here.
Don't get me wrong; it's not as if I help him pack his bags and set them outside the door with a don't-let-the-door-hit-you-on-the-way-out smile on my face. I'm never happy to see him go, BUT I do have one indulgence that I secretly look forward to when he's gone: sleeping alone. Since becoming accustomed to sleeping in our bed alone for extended periods of time, I have been known to be slightly resentful about giving him back his side when he's home. There are many comforts to be enjoyed about sleeping without a partner: my covers are never pulled away in the middle of the night, I'm not assaulted by wandering elbows or feet as he shifts mindlessly in his sleep, but mostly I am not awakened and kept awake by SNORING... all just little things that you get used to and tolerate from a partner, which become less tolerable after you get used to sleeping undisturbed for nights on end. (Well, except for the snoring. The snoring isn't really a "little thing." It more often than not sends me seething in anger to sleep fitfully on the couch for the rest of the night.)
Anyway, Scott left earlier this week for an extended out-of-town gig. That night as I eagerly settled into bed for my first solo sleep in a while, I felt lucky that we'd had him home for such a long time, a little worried about his absence, but mostly just grateful for a solid night's rest so I could wake up feeling recharged and ready to face all of the mom and house responsibilities on my own.
Sometime during the way too wee hours of the morning, I was roused from deep slumber by snoring. Still groggy with sleep, I felt a smile creep onto my face as I realized my husband slept beside me. The smile quickly faded as I reached over to his side of the bed, my hand grasping only air and falling onto the cold sheets. He wasn't there after all, yet, now wide awake, I continued to hear snoring. I soon realized it was just the dog, asleep in his bed next to mine. Needless to say my insomniatic ways got the best of me and any attempts to return to sleep the rest of the night were futile. So much for being recharged and facing responsibilities with a positive attitude.
The point is this: In spite of any amount of "oh, woe is me-ing" that I tend to do when I am on my own, or when I have to adjust to the here and gone of our life from week to week, I really just miss my husband, my kids' dad, snoring and all. And maybe the next time I am awakened by the snoring, I will settle back into sleep with a smile as it fills me with gratitude to hear him there beside me.
(This occurrence has left me wondering about a thing or two: I had never before and haven't since heard the dog snore. A little weird, don't you think? And what does the fact that I thought the dog snoring was actually my husband say about me? A prescription for Ambien may be in order. Also, despite my "attitude of gratitude" epiphany, I wouldn't slam the door in the face of suggestions for solving the snoring issue!)