Lessons Learned During the First Month of Scott’s Absence
He left for the other coast on July 13, which is to say: a hundred years ago. Here are just a few of the things I’ve learned in the past month of temporary single parenting:
• Check your gas tank, because no one else will.
• The second your husband leaves, every hard-to-reach light bulb in the house will burn out in despair. He’s GONE?? Oh, woe! Henceforth shall I shine no more! :::pop:::
• You and your five children will never, ever be on time for church.
• But laundry is easy, if you know the secret.
• The days will be long, and yet every Wednesday morning you will swear it has only been ten minutes since the LAST time you woke up in a panic because the garbage trucks were driving by your house and you forgot to put the trash out again.
• Except for the week you remember to put it out early, because that will be the week the waste disposal company decides to change its pickup day to Monday, which means you have already missed it again.
• You will not turn on the TV all month, because there is nothing to watch worth watching alone.
• If you post too many pictures of the baby doing new and adorable things, you will break his heart.
• If you do not post them, you will also break his heart.
• You will attempt to take your mind off how much you miss him by introducing your children to all the showtunes you never played while he was around because they drive him crazy.
• It won’t work.
• But the kids will think you are the coolest mom ever, because you know all the words to every song in Annie. And Fiddler on the Roof. And Les Miz. And Snoopy. But not Oklahoma, because that wouldn’t be cool.
• You will be shocked to discover how many different things in your house run on batteries—batteries which have apparently made a suicide pact with the light bulbs. You will begin to wonder how your husband ever had time to get any work done, what with all the shopping for and replacing of light bulbs and batteries he must have been doing when you didn’t notice.
• Sooner or later there will come a night when it takes you until 10:30 to finally get all the kids in bed, and afterward you will pace the house like a caged tiger because you NEED CHOCOLATE and you are OUT. You are out, of course, because you ate every bit in the house, right down to the bag of chocolate chips that was supposed to become cookies for your neighbor. (When you write about it, you will hope that your neighbor does not read your blog.) You’ll be on the phone with your husband and he’ll want to know what on earth is making that sound in the background, like the sound of kitchen cabinets being ripped out of the wall and shaken upside down. And you will explain that you are OUT OF CHOCOLATE. These are words that must always be said in capitals all the time because they are TRAGIC.
There will be a short silence on his end of the phone, and then he will say in a voice so tender it makes you want to cry (or else eat a lot more chocolate): "Go look in my office. On the shelf."
And you will find there what he stashed away for you before he left, because he knew this day would come, and he will never, ever let you down.
How does he love me? Let me count the bars.
That is so sweet! (in both senses of the word!)
Had me all misty-eyed!
On August 13, 2006 at 8:52 pm
Awwww! How sweet and thoughtful!
Gosh, this post takes me back to the days when my dh would travel to work in Alaska for several months at a time. I was miserable. Absolutely miserable. And there was never enough chocolate.
On August 13, 2006 at 9:12 pm
What a sweet post with an absolutely poetic ending! Brava!
On August 13, 2006 at 9:16 pm
my thoughts are so original, but this is the sweetest thing I’ve ever read and that was even before I got to the end!
On August 13, 2006 at 11:14 pm
that’s me just above. didn’t mean to be anonymous.
On August 13, 2006 at 11:15 pm
Jennie C. says:
That’s too sweet. Luckily, though, it’s just the lightbulbs and batteries so far. At least your living room ceiling fan isn’t smoking and your air conditioner isn’t leaking.
On August 14, 2006 at 3:25 am
How beautiful! *sob* is right! 🙂
On August 14, 2006 at 4:21 am
Jennifer G. Miller says:
How sweet and thoughtful! What a great hubby he is!
Love the story about the show tunes. Now I’ll have those tunes in my head today.
On August 14, 2006 at 5:27 am
Karen E. says:
From one chocoholic to another, I must say that you have the perfect enabler there (she said, with teary eyes.) That is too, too sweet.
On August 14, 2006 at 6:30 am
Wendy in VA says:
That is one of the loveliest things I have ever read. What a guy! *And* it’s Ritter Sport… :o) The year I was 13, we lived one town over from the Ritter Sport factory in Germany. They sold bags of “imperfect” (not possible when discussing chocolate, I know) bars for next to nothing. I never wanted to move again.
On August 14, 2006 at 8:05 am
Awwwwwwwwwww we wuv him!
I’m amazed that the picture is of actual chocolate and not just shredded wrappers. Where would one find such tasty looking goodness? I’ve never seen those before.
On August 14, 2006 at 8:24 am
Teary eyed here too. How utterly thoughtful.
On August 14, 2006 at 11:05 am
ROFL about the lightbulbs and batteries! No wonder my kids act like Dad is a hero whenever he replaces a battery!
I teared up at the chocolate part too! May we all appreciate our sweet husbands and all they do!
On August 14, 2006 at 11:52 am
KC Powers says:
Tears, tears, tears. Oh, what a sweet husband.
On August 14, 2006 at 12:40 pm
Your knight in shining armour is awesome!!! I wish mine would’ve been so thoughtful when he moved out to Texas ahead of us last winter! I can really empathize with every word in this post!!! I went through all this myself, and we did make it; suprisingly, even with all the chocolate consumption, I managed to lose weight before we saw him again!
On August 14, 2006 at 3:44 pm
Carrie K. says:
Sweet hubby! I hope for both your sakes that you are reunited soon.
On August 14, 2006 at 6:42 pm
That is one of the sweetest things I’ve ever read. How wonderful that he was thoughful enough to still be able to reach out and help you all the way across the continent! Three cheers for considerate, loving, know-us-too-well husbands!
On August 14, 2006 at 9:49 pm
Scott has to be the most thoughtful man on the planet. I’m glad he’s taking good care of you–even from so far away.
On August 15, 2006 at 11:05 am
Donna Marie says:
You are blessed…..and with a husband that understands the chocolate thing too? WOW!
On August 15, 2006 at 2:01 pm
This was lovely. It made me tear up. If you can you should get your hands of Stuart Maclean’s story Love Never Ends from The Vinyl Cafe Unplugged. It will make you laugh and cry, especially if your husband leaves you chocolate bars.
On August 16, 2006 at 7:01 pm
I loved this post!!! But what’s wrong with Oklahoma?
On August 23, 2006 at 6:55 pm
Lissa, you’d make a great Navy wife!
One side tip…if you think the bulbs and batteries collude, wait till you see what cars can do if you leave them alone in the driveway long enough! On one of my husband’s 6-month deployments, I managed to kill ALL FOUR CARS. The last one died the day before poor hubby came home. I left our dead Taurus at Enterprise and we all picked up Daddy in a rental car. The cars conspired to break down. Really they did.
On August 27, 2006 at 7:36 pm
Margaret in Minnesota says:
I wish I were crying because I was pregnant.
I’m not. (And that may well bring on more tears.) But coming to the end of this post and seeing that picture has made me cry.
For the sweetness of the gesture, definitely, but most of all…
For the love.
PS. What’s with us ladies, anyway?
PPS. We’re ladies. That’s what’s with us.
On September 2, 2006 at 12:45 pm
Lissa, you are just too funny!
On September 3, 2006 at 6:05 pm
Alice Gunther says:
I certainly remember reading this the first time around. How is it I never commented to say that this is just wonderful! I love the ending!
On July 24, 2007 at 12:14 am