David left for Madrid on Friday morning and made his merry way over there, via Singapore and London. You would think that after almost 13yrs of life together, I would be used to this by now, and not let it affect me too much. I am on my own for a while, and I'm feeling the pinch, both financially and emotionally!
Well, I am used to the fact that he disappears now and then, flits in and out of our lives and earns a good crust, relatively! But, really I know I'll never 'get used' to feeling sad when he starts counting down the week before he goes, shops for the extra items he needs when we separate (toothpaste, etc) and puts his cases on our big bed as he organizes what he needs to take and then packs them! Then he's taking the kids aside, one by one, having 'little chats' with them when he thinks I can't hear. Reminding them to be good, asking for their help while he's away so that I'm not stressed. He sits with the babies for a few minutes longer then usual, telling him he loves them, trying to reassure them that it will be ok, that he'll be back, and they don't need to worry. He makes light of it, but I can see from Poppy's face, big round saucer eyes, and trembling bottom lip, that she knows exactly what is coming.
Then he's at the door, I smile and make some sort of joke, it's fine, it's all fine. He knows I'll be ok, as usual, but as he walks away from me towards the car, I already feel emptier. My best friend is leaving and I won't see him for a month. I won't have the support that I find so vital in a large house with 7 children of all ages, and I won't see his tired face walk in at the end of the day, after missing lunch, coffee breaks because he hasn't had one second to himself...
The first few days are ok and in some ways it's nice to be able to run the house exactly as I like it, not have anybody else to answer to and just be 'still' in my own space. It doesn't take long before I've had enough of my own space, and I'm wishing he were home, wishing I was picking up his dirty clothes from the floor where he leaves them, wishing I was holding my hand over his mouth so that I don't have to hear his dreadful singing, wishing that he was sitting beside me watching a movie and interrupting it ever few seconds with his irritating running commentary, wishing I wasn't doing this alone again....Oh well!
My 'to do' checklist for the weekend has almost been completed, and with the help of a very special little lady, I have been able to keep organized. My sweet Gabs goes a long way towards helping me stay sane, and I feel lucky everyday, for the help that she gives me. Something almost ethereal and unrealistic about this darling child, you'll know what I mean, if you've ever met her.
Yesterday the smaller kids and I hung out at the park, until it grew dark. So nice to just watch them play with no cares, no worries, and to take their mind off the fact that their Daddy won't be walking in through the door tonight...
So as my first weekend without David comes to an end, I can feel relieved that we survived it without any major dramas. I can keep feeling the pinch, and I will - but it will just hum away in the background, where I will keep it, until he comes home!
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