Brandon is gone tonight. He was gone last night. He's going to be gone again tomorrow night. He's been gone a lot lately; the last time he made it home for dinner was the first Thursday of this month (I know this because he came home early so I could go to craft night). Things here have been a little rough lately.
Surprisingly, they haven't been as rough as I thought they would be - after all taking care of four children all day long while being pregnant isn't exactly a picnic - but the days have been pretty long, a seemingly endless merry-go-round of the same sights repeating themselves. Get up, eat breakfast, school, lunch and naps, walk, dinner, feed children, get them ready for bed, wash dishes, feed Brandon, go to bed. Repeat.
Now I'm not trying to complain. The big picture, after all, is nothing but roses. Brandon has a very stable, secure job that takes care of all of our needs, our wants, lets us plan for the future, and allows me to stay home with the children. Everyone is healthy and we're all together. We've been able to have four wonderful children that bring us joy every day and we even get to have another one. We live in a beautiful warm house and eat plenty of good, healthy food every single day. We even get to travel to foreign countries and own black tie attire. Life is not only good, it's great.
But occasionally come times that aren't bad - nobody's died, gotten sick, or lost their job - but maybe a little irritating. And I think maybe it's okay to not like them as much as the good times. After all, who likes to spend dinner with four children after a long day when you can spend dinner with four children and their father, who hasn't been telling them to quit quarreling and so is a little fresher than you? I know that I'd rather put the children to bed at a decent hour and spend some time playing Scrabble and chatting with my husband instead of chasing everyone into bed right before heading there yourself (after finishing the dishes) just so you can get up and begin everything over again the next day. We're all allowed to have preferences, even if they don't always get honored.
So right now we're in the middle of one of the irritating times. I'm grateful this isn't a habit - presiding over dinner alone - and that I have a husband who does everything in his power to make it home for dinner. I'm grateful he's not deployed, or a New York lawyer, or working at Stauffer's. I'm grateful he's around and plans to stay that way. But still, I wouldn't mind having him around for dinner too.
It's okay though, because in two months Brandon will be done here. He will turn in his Blackberry and get on an airplane with us, having finished up all of his work (or maybe just left it for the next guy). Our house will be packed, all of the forms will have been turned in, the car will be sent off, and everything that didn't get done will just have to stay that way. We'll enjoy a whole month of visiting family, not visiting anyone at all, and eating dinner together every single night. And that's life - the cycle of good and bad, the pleasant and the irritating. Thankfully it's a cycle, and so I just have to remember when I'm on the down side of that cycle, I only have to wait until the good times come back. That's all. Just wait.