My husband jetted off on a two-day business trip early last week.
I would tell you that his travel gets easier with time. That my boys and I thrive and carry on with the business of our daily routines while he's gone without missing a beat. That life skips along and we hardly notice he isn't here.
I'd tell you that if it were true.
But, it isn't.
We miss him. We miss him every day that he's gone. Whether it's two days or a week. I don't know if I set this tone by somehow wearing my feelings of longing and incompleteness on my face, or if the separation from one another just naturally creates a sense of "something's missing", but all of us seem to feel it.
On Tuesday night, as I gathered up my posse of miniature cowboys to get them ready for bed, I reminded them, "Dad will be home when you wake up tomorrow. Bet he can't wait to see you."
"Do you think he's bringing us presents this time?", cowboy Max's eyes lit up, knowing that sometimes there are hidden treasures in the bottom of Daddy's suitcase.
"You never know", I whispered as I slyly smiled and shrugged my shoulders.
As I tucked them in, Jack - my seven year-old and leader of our four-member rodeo handed me a letter.
"This is for you, Mom. Can you read it before Dad gets home?"
"Of course, buddy."
Jack - my letter writer. I never know what I'll find inside his envelopes that always bear the same two words: "from Jackson".
I kissed my boys, turned off the light, and quietly closed their bedroom door.
As I walked down the stairs, I opened up the letter:
Days later, I still pick up this letter every so often to peek inside and see those precious few, misspelled words.
Because inside, I see what is happening in the heart of my little boy.
In the midst of business travel and separation and days without his father, he is learning what's important.
Around the kitchen table with bowls of cold cereal on a Wednesday morning.
To celebrate one of the best things we've got.