(Written April 14, 2010.)
My husband travels for work. A lot. The boys and I give him bleary-eyed kisses in the wee hours of each Monday morning, and we welcome him home with squeals and hugs every Thursday night as the boys get ready for bed. In between, it’s just Mommy and the boys. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner; nap time and bed time; ear infections and stomach bugs; field trips and play dates; doctor’s appointments and kindergarten registration; time outs and story time. This is our routine, and, to us, it feels, well, routine. Still, most people I know have asked me at some point, “How do you do it?!” And despite the fact that I think that question is more appropriately asked of people with MUCH harder jobs than I have, I understand what they mean. I understand that it’s a life most of my friends can’t (or don’t want to) imagine. So I usually give an answer along the lines of, “I just put one foot in front of the other and take it one minute at a time.” (Isn’t that the way most of us get through the day?) But today, I was reminded that I have a much better answer to the question… My computer died, and today I got word that the manufacturer has decided not to cover the cost of the repair, despite the fact that it is still under warranty. I got off the phone so frustrated that I didn’t know what to do next. So I did what I do every time I feel that way; I called my husband. He sympathized. He supported me. He offered great suggestions for what to do next. And, instantly, I felt better. So how do I do it? I can do it because I’m not alone. It may look like I do it all myself, but I don’t. Not even close. My husband may not be physically with us during the week, but he’s always here in the ways that matter most. And I’m so grateful that I don’t have to do it without him.