Oh! How I miss him. Nathan has been in DC since Friday, and the house just doesn't feel the same without him in it. My routine in the morning is not the same. Coming home is not the same. Dinner is not the same. Bedtime is not the same.
The worst time of the day is when I close my eyes to go to sleep. It's my habit to think of the kids right before I fall asleep, because it's only when I reassure myself that they are safe and sleeping soundly that I can drift off. But the past few days when I've closed my eyes, all I can see is his empty bed and felt this feeling of emptiness. It's like I'm homesick for him.
I know he's safe. My brother is from Texas. He owns a Glock and has no problems using it to defend his home and family. My sister-in-law would throw herself in front of a truck if it meant saving Nathan. No, he's safe with Patrick and Ronna. He's loved, cared for and well-fed. I'm not worried about him at all.
But I miss him desperately.
I miss his quick little smile and the way he says such funny things. I miss the smell of his skin and the feel of his arms around my neck when he hugs me goodnight. I miss his nightly mantra: "Goodnight, don't let the bedbugs bite, sweet dreams, see ya in the morning." But I don't see him in the morning. I get up, get dressed, get Gracie up and going and start my day without him.
I try to quell my homesickness for him by calling Ronna at least 43 times a day for blow by blow updates about his visit. She patiently tells me everything that has happened since I called 22 minutes ago, and never makes fun of me, because she is a mom too.
On the upside, it's been fun spending some one-on-one time with Gracie. We celebrated her 4th birthday last weekend, and I realized that this was the first birthday she has ever had to herself with us. Nathan was the firstborn, so he had 3 birthdays with us before Gracie came along, but she's never experienced that. We enjoyed being able to focus on her and give her some much needed attention.
We've played games, and played outside. I didn't want to go to work yesterday because I was having such a good morning with her, that I didn't want it to end. I would have given almost anything to stay home and play "Hippomapotamus" with her. (Hungry, Hungry, Hippos) She has been so much fun to be with the past several days. I think she's enjoying this time with us as well, although she misses Nathan. She wanted to say the blessing at dinner last night, and the entire prayer was an entreaty for God to keep Nathan safe while he was at Uncle Patrick, Aunt Ronna and Benjamin's house and while he was on the plane. It was so sweet.
(Has anyone ever wished they had a video camera rolling during prayer time? My children say some of the sweetest things when they talk to God.)
Anyway, missing Nathan is about to become a bigger part of my life. When he gets home this weekend, I'll have just enough time to wash all of his clothes, repack them and send him off on vacation with my parents for a week. They are taking Nathan and Gracie to Tyler where they have a timeshare with an indoor water park.
When they get back, Nathan will go back to Louisiana with them for a week and Gracie will stay here. He will effectively be gone 3 weeks, before he comes back home for the rest of the summer. The good thing is that I will be off the Monday and Tuesday of the fourth week, so we can do some fun stuff together and catch up.
So, I need to go to bed and get some sleep, but I'm dreading all that homesickness when I close my eyes. The best thing for me (besides taking a nice dose of Lunesta) is to pray myself to sleep. It's the only thing I can do to clear my mind and bring me peace.