Sunday, June 6, 2010

Saying goodbye

We are faced with saying goodbye to our favorite guy fairly often around here, and I was just thinking today how we make the "Goodbye to the Combat Zone" as normal as the "Goodbye as Dad leaves for work".

Recently, Ryan left for a short trip and I found myself putting Kaelyn down for nap as usual knowing that Daddy would be leaving at 4. Instead of forgoing nap, we kept our day normal, held onto normal for as long as possible. I settled in quietly next to Ryan with a book while he reviewed regs and procedures for overseas flights on his laptop.  His mind was already on the mission. While I read, I would peek over the edge of my book and  see my husband's face, those peircing blue-green intensely focused on the mission at hand and feel his hand slowly rubbing my back while I ventured off into my world of fiction. I eventually gave into the desire for a nap, and Ryan joined me shortly afterwards.

 It was a normal afternoon, it was what we would do on any other weekend when he wasn't leaving while the girls napped, and it spoke volumes of how our "home" wasn't about to change just because it was missing one person. It was a silent promise to Ryan that I would keep things normal, regardless of what was missing... I would ignore the giant Ryan sized gap, the empty chair, always made up half of the bed, a toothbrush missing and a towel hanging long forgotten on his hook. I would keep "our" normal, and that he would come home and find his spot just where he left it.

Even though we'd love nothing more than running off together and soaking up a few last moments of family time in reckless abandon, we cling to our routine, our normal and by doing so we choose to relish the little things...the sight of our girls napping, the feeling of his hand on my back, a nap in each others arms. Those are the things you really miss, and perhaps that is why we hold so dearly to normal on a day that is anything but.

Saying goodbye is part of our lifestyle...we do it often, but it makes Hello so much sweeter.