Twice a year, my husband leaves his family to venture into the great outdoors to hunt for wild game. As he loads the truck with all his gear, I tell him how much I’ll miss him and implore him to drive safely. With Ella in my arms and Carson wrapped around my legs, we stand by the door, waving as he drives away. I wipe away the children’s tears and reassure them that Daddy will come home soon. Then we shut the door and I do a happy dance.
I love my husband, but I really love when he goes on his hunting and gathering missions. There was a time that I resented his trips, leaving me ALL ALONE with two small babies! I’d stew the whole week he was gone in anger and bitterness, and when he finally returned I’d practically knock him over as I grabbed my purse and keys as I rushed out the door to my getaway vehicle.
Now that the kids are older and decidedly EASIER, it’s really not so bad for Tate to be gone for a week.
While he was gone, we ate Bagel Bites and Mac n’ Cheese for dinner. (The Mac n’ Cheese was at least ORGANIC processed food.) The dryer became my closet because I never bothered to put any laundry away. Toys were strewn about the house. We watched movies and ate popcorn almost every night. After the kids went to bed I indulged in complete unadulterated laptop devotion.
Tate doesn’t expect that dinner should be served piping hot as soon as he walks in the door from work. He doesn’t care if beds are made, if the house is tidy, or if the laundry is neatly folded and put away. That’s just how we typically live. It’s what I DO on a day to day basis. Tate’s vacations are also my vacations.
By the final day, though, the wrinkled clothes, mess, and diet of processed foods have worn me thin. Tate typically calls throughout the day as he drives the ten hours home, and I find myself actually excited about his return. Also? Slightly panicked.
“Carson! Help! We have to get this house cleaned up before your daddy returns! It looks like a fraternity party gone bad in here!” I yelp as I look around at all of the granola bar packages and empty soda cans.
“Mommy, what’s a fraternity party?”
“Never mind! Just help me clean!”
All the toys somehow find their way back into the toyroom and their respective bins. I turn on the dryer and pray for the wrinkles to be released, then quickly fold the laundry and put it in drawers. The evidence of poor food choices are hidden at the bottom of the trash bin. My legs are de-furred (*wink, wink*).
We stand at the door and wave as Daddy pulls into the driveway. The children practically knock him over as they rush out the door to greet him. Then we come inside and we all do a happy dance for his safe return.