Paul’s due back from the valley in an hour. Life without him is just so … blah. I don’t sleep well because his arm’s not there to prop up my neck just right. I freeze too. Bundled up with sweats and sweatshirts, I feel awkward. I hear more noises and I have to check the doors more often.

The girls have a theory that everytime Daddy leaves, someone in the house gets sick. Sure enough, three colds this week. Last night, Ingrid snuffled and kicked and wiggled and whined because her nose is too plugged to sleep. Dagne coughed all night. Greta fell asleep tonight at a family get-together with a sore throat. It feels like a protective bubble that’s usually there is gone.

With me in charge, we get things done. This is good. But so much is missing. Paul provides the comic relief. He’s entertaining. Better than TV. Give him some Mountain Dew and sit back to watch. Side-splitting. The wheels of the family grind against each other without him. He makes us all relax, let be. With him, there’s music in our chores. There’s smiles at our dinner table. There’s comfort in our sleep.

Some of that restless energy that’s driving me nuts will be alleviated. He’ll push the girls around a little. Expend some energy.

If I descend into bitterness, I always express it with a cutting sarcasm. It always makes Paul laugh.

Other people don’t laugh. They get offended.

Paul’s pretty much un-offendable. He just gets people. That’s an endearing quality. When he laughs, the bitterness melts away.

Counting the minutes …

’til Daddy’s home.

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