I'm on my fifth night without my husband (who is on business throughout the country). I've managed to feed my kids, keep them clean and even entertain them without forgetting to sleep, shower and remember to wear my bra before power walking to Arco. Except for my hair-do, which looks like Hurricane Rita made a quick pitstop in Chatsworth before going back to neeener nah-nah the south, things are status quo. This is quite shocking, as I thought by this leg of my solo gig I'd be standing on the front porch, searching the sky for signs of James' incoming plane. But desperation has given way to sentimentality, and all I can think of is how much I miss him.
Which is odd, because many times, he can be such a pain in the ass.
If he tells me one more time how to drive on the correct side of the road or go to bed earliar than 2am, I am going to Lorena Bobbit him faster than J-Lo cashes her Sears' checks for her multi-billion dollar "Latina" line of polyester, fire hazard 'how to dress like a cheap slut but have Latina pride' clothes. But for all his nudginess, he does manage to keep me grounded. He listens to my stories about potty training, script outlining, and my spats with our neighbor, Maria, who I refer to as "Maria Andretti" for her insistence on driving fifty miles/hour down the cul de sac, inducing many a close calls with trash cans, unsuspecting Washington Mutual lunch strollers, one ferral cat and a family of rabid squirrels. I'm sad over some of the milestones he's missed, like our little girl walking for the first time. Or for some of the smaller moments, like Dominic holding Sophie's hand in the SUV, their little fingers entwined from car seat to car seat over the portable mini-fridge. He didn't view Pipsqueak fearlessly scurry through the Ronald McDonald habit trail, Dominic behind her saying "I'll take care of my sister" before leaving her stranded in a dirty plastic bubble to slide down a tube with a cute four-year old named Madison. James is a good daddy who I just know would have loved all these details. He might even get misty eyed as I recap the magic in all its techicolor glory.
To reference one of James' many sci-fi shows, I am picturing myself getting sucked into this emotional vortex of gush & mush. I imagine all six foot one of me getting so wrapped up in how much I miss my partner that only one stained Clark's walking shoe is left poking out of its giant mass. True to the sci-fi formula, some big hero floating through space in his over-priced 2.99/gallon gas guzzler will see my size 10 inch clod hopper (accentuated by a Boots the Monkey bandaid and a splash of Gerber apricots) and come to my rescue. This big hero of mine, none other than Get a Grip You Dumb Bitch Man himself, will pull me from the suckage, slap me silly and remind me of the truth behind James missing these "milestones". For all the gallaxy to hear, he'll shout "#1 -James would be working anyway, so whether he's in New York or Northridge, Sophie is walking to you, not Papa. #2 - James would never go to a McDonald's play area on a Wednesday night. That's prime SGI time and a chance for him to be alone for an hour. How lame are you?"
If at this time my body, like a defiant baby in a birth canal, refuses to leave the womb of sentimentality, he'll hit me with #3 - "Every time James comes home from a business trip, rather than wrap your arms around him and reminisce about the week, the flu bug kicks the love bug's ass. Ex: James home from Germany? You're puking in the toilet. Utah? Strained back. The east coast? Breath that would kill a cat."
Now I'm completely out of the hole. He checks me over once. Except for a few Giggilastic Huggie's coupons that got lost in space, I'm relatively unscathed and ready to face the real world once again.
I still think James would have dug the McDonald's habitrail.