Something really odd happened this weekend. I missed my husband. And not in a hey I miss you when he's been out of town or when we're tag team parenting our two kids, crossing paths briefly and high-fiving before heading to the next thing, falling into bed at night exhausted. No, this was something I felt down to my toes and back up again, a void that demanded to be filled.
It was such a simple thing--I was heading a day early to Vegas with our closest friends and when an important meeting came up, we'd agreed he'd meet up with us a little more than twelve hours later. Truth be told, I had been looking forward to the four hour drive alone, where I'd catch up with all my friends and blast all the music that makes him cringe.(Helllooo Katy Perry!) And I had a great day--toasting champagne by the pool with my besties, people watching and over-posting pictures on Facebook. (Sorry about that, everyone!)
But for the first time since I can honestly remember, there was a twinge in my gut that refused to leave. Maybe it was because he wasn't there to reassure me that that I could still rock that lime-colored bikini, to squeeze my shoulder lightly as he passed by, to understand the things I needed even when I didn't. It's interesting, how easy it is to forget how vital those small things can be until they disappear like fog on a sunny morning. That, in all the time we do spend apart, it was those twelve random hours that opened my eyes.
And let me say for the record, I'm pretty much as independent as they come. I travel often for my job, and he travels too. He leaves early and comes home late. I've never met a girl's night out I didn't like and I cherish alone time. And because I'm like that, I think I had told myself that it just wasn't possible to miss him the way I did. We've been together fifteen years. We've had two kids and countless rescue animals. All the cool college stories have been told. He's seen all my good outfits. He knows what I'm like before I have caffeine or what happens if I don't eat. (Hint: it's not pretty!) So yes, to miss him the way I did that day, to need him a way that had nothing to do with him picking up the kids or feeding the dogs or taking out the trash, well, it felt amazing.
It's hard in this Facebook age to show our hand, to admit we might let the demands of our busy lives pull us away from what really matters. (It's a theme we explore in The Status of All Things, due out next year.) But the truth is that marriage is hard--it's like a roller coaster with twists and turns, with peaks and valleys. And if I've learned one thing from this, it's that, like a roller coaster, you need to just keep holding on no matter what and enjoy the ride.