Today I feel for my kids. Doug has been gone since Tuesday morning, and at this moment is somewhere in the air, nearing New Hampshire. He has a two plus hour drive after he lands, so he'll be coming up our road somewhere around 11 tonight.
To say that the kids miss him is a huge understatement. This morning at precisely 7 am, Drew came into my room and wanted to know why Daddy didn't kiss him last night. It's so hard to explain to a three and a half year old with no sense of time that Daddy wasn't coming home until today, not last night. I think I went thru the scenario about a zillion times today, but I still got the same question~will Daddy be home for lunch today? It was frustrating on the one hand, but perfectly understandable on the other. Doug doesn't have a job that requires much travel. Most of his travel is done during work hours. If he attends planning board meetings, they are after dinner, so for the most part the kids see him before they go to bed. The last time he went away for any length of time was when Drew was an infant. So this three day trip has been pretty traumatic for them.
Even Meg, who is conscious of time is still up, at 8 pm (yes, my kids go to bed early), hoping against hope that Daddy will walk in the door. I just explained to her that Daddy is still flying, and that staying up isn't going to make him get here faster. I can hear her flopping around in her bed above me, not resting and thinking of her dad.
I wonder sometimes if my kids feel the same way about me that they do about Doug. They see him for just a few short hours each day, sometimes even less, but I am a permanent presence here. Drew wants snuggle time with just Daddy most of the time. And while I understand that, it makes me sad too. We don't get that kind of one on one time during the day very often, so his connection with Doug makes me a bit jealous I guess. Meg is not a cuddly child; never has been and probably never will be. But she wants big hugs from Doug when he's around. I barely get a pat on the back when she's giving me a hug. Even the twins hold onto him tighter when he's home. Maybe they all understand that their time with Doug is precious, fleeting time, and they need to take advantage of it while they can. And maybe they're just thrilled to see a different face after looking at mine for ten or more hours a day. Whatever it is, I'm glad that they have a dad they love so much. I know that he loves them too. What more could I ask for.