I returned yesterday from a trip overseas. It wasn’t a shopping trip to New York or a beach holiday in Maldives. It was a family visit to my folks in ‘sunny’ England. Summer – not. There are two seasons there. Winter and a little less winter. Change is as good as a holiday I thought excitedly. As long as I have ten days off from parenting duty; wife roles and responsibilities; the daily grind, it’s a holiday.
I was curious how my absence would impact the rest of the family. And a little nervous if I’m honest. My ego would love to know that it all fell apart as soon as the customs officer grunted for me to move on. (Is it part of their job description to be impolite I wonder?) But no. A last minute text confirmed all was well just after I jammed myself into the space designed for small children. A place better known as economy. Perhaps I thought, it would take a few more days before the wheels fell off. Two days later, on a London bus fenced in between two apparently very trendy ladies caught in an eighties timewarp, an international call confirmed none of that to be true.
A day later the ‘summer’ rain and howling wind had me huddled up like a dependent teenager on my mom’s couch. It was then that it occurred to me I hadn’t given a thought of how much my absence from them would leave me feeling empty and nostalgic. Right about now, I thought, I could be bathing my son and asking the angels to watch over him in his sleep. And in another moment, my husband and I could be snuggling up to watch my show ‘Private Practice’. And then, despite the joy of finding myself in the middle of an all time favourite shopping experience – beautiful shoes, shoes, shoes everywhere and on sale-I feel less than enthralled because I don’t have the thumbs up approval from my super fashionable and super styling husband. Where is he now when I need him? At home while I’m away! That doesn’t seem right.
I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to phone my best friend and confide in him how I felt. I wanted him to know how much I appreciate and adore him and our marriage. In my absence I had time to think. To reflect. To reconnect with my own desires. My absence made my heart grow fonder. I had the opportunity to step off the daily grind treadmill. I was reminded how in love I am and how lucky I am to be in such a loving relationship.
My monologue ended, the one sided conversation went quiet. My best friend- my husband – said, “My darling, I love you so much. I have missed you and I know life gets hectic and sometimes we have so much on the go but I adore you more than anything. You mean everything to me and I can’t wait for you to come home. You are my world.”
It turns out he feels that way all the time. He didn’t need me to go away to remind him of it.
Absence did not make my heart grow fonder. Time to reflect on what we have that is precious and beautiful made my heart grow fonder. And I don’t need to go anywhere for that to happen.