Sunday, November 08, 2009

Sunday nights

It's kind of like being in a long distance relationship.

Jason comes home for the weekend on Thursday nights, and leaves early early early (he gets up at 3:30 a.m.) Monday mornings to drive back up to Vail. He comes home on Tuesday nights after work, only to turn around and drive back on Wednesday mornings. So really, Zeke and I get about 2 hours with him on Tuesdays, and that's it. It does break up the week, but the weekend is what we live for.

It's hard on me, not only because I miss my husband during the week, but also because I never get a break from the childcare duties. I get exhausted and impatient and I feel like all I want is to escape to a deserted island where no one is tugging at me, seeking food or a bath or toys or even just my attention.

And it's really hard on Zeke, because he loves his daddy so much, and misses him terribly when he's not around. I think the time away from Jason, and having me say in response to a pleading, "Daddy? Daddy home?", that "Daddy will be home tomorrow," or "Daddy will be home later," or "Daddy will be home soon," is giving Zeke an understanding of temporal concepts that are a bit advanced for his age.

Being on maternity leave has been nice in that we can spend all day Friday together. So the weekend feels really long. We pack the time with fun things like outings to the zoo or the aquarium or the park, or, newly added today to the repertoire, the science museum. We get together with friends and family for dinner. Jason plays with Zeke constantly, rough-housing and bouncing on the couch and running around being silly. Jason and I take advantage of the daycare's "parents' night out" program, in which they provide super-cheap babysitting on the second Saturday of every month so that the parents can get in some time alone, knowing that their children are in the care of familiar, trained, and responsible caregivers.

But Sunday night inevitably and inexorably rolls back around. And I get depressed. And Jason gets moody. And we cling to each other a little bit.

Tuesday night is only two days away. And my cousin is living with us for a little while, so I have some company and an extra pair of adult hands and eyes to help with the children. Zeke totally adores him, so it's nice for him to have another big strong man to throw him around.

But still. It's not the same.

Jason went to bed a couple of hours ago, so that the 3:30 alarm wouldn't be completely brutal. Josie had a hard time settling down, so I stayed up rocking her and watching the season finale of Mad Men.

That familiar heaviness in my heart is settling in. I'll wake up for a second when the alarm goes off, and Jason will give me a kiss goodbye, and then will call me or text me a few hours later to let me know he arrived safely. In the morning, Zeke will come into my room and crawl into bed with me.

"Hi, Mama. Snungle?" he asks, using his crazy-cute iteration of "snuggle."

"Good morning, angel. Come snungle with Mama."

We cuddle up, arms wrapped around each other.


"No, honey, Daddy's not here. Daddy had to go to work. He'll be back tomorrow. He misses you very much."

The countdown to Tuesday begins.

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