Our lives have evolved into quick kisses hello and goodbye, conversations whispered into pillows, handing off the car keys during what now amounts to a shift change. We communicate via little notes, scribbled on the backs of envelopes or on scraps of paper not already covered in crayon or glitter. Taped to the fridge or propped up against the fishbowl... "I need the car tomorrow"... "The dishwasher is full of clean dishes"... "We need dogfood"... "Lucy has a cough"... "I love you"... "and I love you."
It’s not as bad as I thought it would be, these crazy summer work schedules. We do see each other, and we do end up in the same bed for a few hours every night. We talk on the phone during the day, and again during the 15 minutes after he has come home and before I have to leave. Last night, we made dinner together in those precious 15 minutes, revisiting the dance we have perfected in a dozen years of marriage with small kitchens. And as the final result bubbled away on the stove, I dashed back out the door with an air kiss so as not to smear my lipstick, my heels clicking down the stairs as the children tumbled over each other chasing me to the car with more hugs and kisses and cries of "I'll miss you mommy" and "See you in the morning!"
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One of the reasons I think it's not so bad is those little notes. It is a way for us to connect, one that we have utilized over the years—my husband has always left for work at 5am, and I frequently work nights—so we use every opportunity to express our love and appreciation and respect for each other—even if it’s on the back of a credit card bill.
These notes may not be love letters on perfumed stationary written in fountain pen—but it’s our version, and it works. We still exchange highly informative emails and phone calls that are short on romance and long on technicalities and complaints—but these little notes are—for the most part—endearments and kindnesses and a way to be personal, when it can't be said in person.
In these days when everything is rushed and money is tight and date night is a pipe dream because we don't have the time or the money, a little note written with a broken crayon by the microwave light at midnight does me just fine. But if he's still awake when I get home, well... even better.
Originally written for Hybrid Mom.
To read more from Hybrid Mom, check out:
- Renaissance, Woman
- Why Isn't Marriage As Exciting As Dating?
- What To Do With the Little Free Time You Have