My better half has been gone two days now. He's at sixth grade camp.
I know, right?
I thank him nearly every day for being the one that leaves the house for work.
But he's having a good time.
I told him today on the phone that he should go every year.
He thinks he will.
I am hoping his good deeds count for me, too.
So it's been two days.
And while he's gone, I notice things.
I notice the house is cleaner.
The night ends earlier.
I cook less but bake more.
I read an entire novel.
The laundry is all done.
And it's only for two days, I know if it were for much longer that might not be as true but it's noticeable in the short term.
And while he's gone, I notice other things.
I put off going to bed longer because it's just me, no one to snuggle up against.
Dinner is over more quickly, there isn't as much lingering around the table.
There aren't dance parties or songs good night, at least not the right ones.
The house is quiet.
The mornings are more lonely then they are peaceful.
And as I notice these things, I think about my expectations and where they were and where they are now.
When I first got married (and if I am honest, I can still slip into this thinking) I had in my mind certain expectations of who does what and kept a list and kept track and wanted things to have a certain equality to them.
And now I realize that my husband is more than a set of tasks, more than just a garbage man, child keeper, toilet scrubber or cleaning assistant. Because when he is gone? Those aren't the things I miss the most. They're nice but they aren't what I love, what I miss when he is gone.
I miss the man not the list of tasks he completes. I can do those. I can water the seedlings, mow the lawn, administer medicine, call Steve when a snake appears in the backyard (well, I actually screamed at the top of my lungs - STEVE! STEVE! STEVE!), all that stuff. But I can't replicate who Joe is. I can't be daddy or husband. Joe's songs are more sincere, more familiar. Joe's play is more intense and rough and crazy. Joe's arms are strong and warm and sure. Joe is more generous and forgiving. Joe's eyes are a reflection of how he sees me and what he sees is always so much more amazing than what I see. It can be scary to think of who I might be without Joe.
Because as time goes on my expectations........well, my expectations they are changing.
My expectations towards tasks..........they get lower in a lot of ways. They don't seem to be the mountains I once made them (oh those piles on the floor.......HA! How that use to upset me.....now? Well, I take the two seconds to move them into the laundry basket.......why, oh, why Mandy of 8 years ago did you put so much energy into that? :).
But my expectations towards love?
They get higher.
It gets better.
It's weird to think that and maybe it won't be as true 10 years from now because we are still just babies at this marriage thing.
But this love thing?
Those honeymooners nearly nine years ago?
They had no idea.
Can't wait for tomorrow :)