Well, so far so good. No kids crying for Dad at night yet. I'm surprised, the last time he left, it was a huge sobfest. I've been preparing all of us mentally for it for a while so I guess that must've helped.
I'm the one who's missing him. And it's not just the physical presence of him being here, it's the little things. No toothbrush next to mine in the cup in the bathroom. More space in the medicine cabinet because his toiletries are gone. No spare cup to pick up in the morning that he used when he came home the night before.
And the night is hard too, I mean, I'm making sure to get to bed early, since no one wants a cranky sleep-deprived Mom, but I can't sleep the whole night through. Last night I was up at 3:30, listening for him to be home. And at 4 and at 5:30. I gave up trying to sleep and just got up! Sometimes when he comes in, I hear him and silently will watch him tiptoe around the house covering up the bare foot that will be hanging out of Ben's bed, rearranging the sheets on Ryan, brushing Audrey's hair off her face, covering up Nolan so he's in his cocoon. He's the shadow by the bed, I can feel him looking at me and sometimes we will clasp hands for just a minute, then if I don't get up and talk to him, I slip into deep sleep comforted that he's in, okay, safe, no bad guy wins tonight.
I can tell when he's charged up and has a tale to tell, so I definately get up then to hear it. And I will purposely leave out the silly kid details of the evening so that the time and my attention are his. The stories are not really the point, he's just winding down, and sometimes I think that this after work time is lonely for him if there's no one to talk to. Yet there are times I know he needs to be left alone. It's just one of those 'know your man' things, an intangible intuitive sense that can only be honed with time, familiarity, and patience. I know I won't sleep well until he gets back. In the meantime, I'll do his night shift of re-covering and checking on the kids. It's better than watching the clock.
He misses me too, because he called me this morning, just to see if everyone made it out the door ok. He's not a fan of being chatty on the phone...so I'm still smiling about it.