Oh Internets. Have I told you lately how awesomely awesome Tony is? And not just because it's Father's Day and he's a great Daddy, because it is and he is, but that isn't the reason. The reason is that he had an out of town work training seminar thing this week and ZB and I both have been battling summer colds and there's only so many days that you can be on 24 hour snot wiping patrol for someone who doesn't know how to blow her own nose and would rather DIE than let you anywhere near her with a tissue before you get all burned out and fed up and want to just throw in the snot-covered towel and be done with it.
You know the old adage that absence makes the heart grow fonder? Personally, I always thought that was a bit of a stretch, but man is it true. As he packed up his bag on Monday I was like, "No problemo. We manage to make it through the day while he's at work. How much harder can it be to do a few more hours until bedtime?"
How much harder indeed.
The thing is that Tony does a lot more than just work a full time job. Apparently he also gets up and feeds the cats breakfast sometime between 4am and 6am, and cleans out litter boxes and picks up hairballs and takes out the garbage. After work he comes home and plays in the floor with ZB while I steal a few precious minutes to myself, feeds her dinner and cleans up the kitchen after she tosses all of that dinner into the floor. He mows the lawn, takes the recycling out to the curb and makes sure that the house is all locked up and secure before going to bed. He does all this quietly and without making a big deal out of it, so I kinda figured it wasn't that hard.
Trust me. It is hard.
While Tony was gone, the cats did not get breakfast at 6am. They got breakfast at 9:15 when I finally realized that I had forgotten to feed them and that was why they were following me around like the Pied Piper of Purina. I was very proud of myself for cleaning out the litter boxes on time...right up until I realized that I had forgotten to get the ones in the basement that Bella likes to use. I almost coughed up my own hairball while trying to clean up the one they left me out on the porch. (Do you have any idea how gross that is?!? And how hard it is to pick something up while refusing to open your eyes? And how much I'm gagging even now just thinking about it?) I got the garbage can out to the curb in time for pickup, but not in time for me to empty the trash that was in the house into the outside can first. ZB spent the first few days standing at the front door, waiting for him to come home and play with her. I tried to wrestle in the floor with her like what he does, but after she accidentally poked me in the eye and boxed me in the ear within a three minute time frame, I called a halt to floor wrestling. After she tossed all of her dinner on the floor the first night, neither one of us was really interested in cooking, so we distracted ourselves by eating at various fast food places. (I know. I'm feeding my child a McDonalds cheeseburger just so I don't have to pick things up off the floor. There goes Mother of the Year). Speaking of the floor, I relied on the less sanitary but equally effective cat cleanup system. I didn't sweep, they ate all the food bits they wanted, and I figured it would tide them over for the next time I forgot to feed them. Win Win...sorta. The lawn I ignored completely. There is just no way to mow and watch ZB at the same time. And on the second night he was away, I locked up all the doors and windows and set the alarm before bed, only to realize the next morning that I had left my keys hanging in the front door knob all night. (Good thing we live in a safe neighborhood).
But beyond all the things that he does, we just missed him. I missed sharing my day with him and ZB missed being played with and talked to and kissed on the head. We missed hearing about his day. (Well, he called on the phone, but it wasn't the same). The cats REALLY missed him, because evidently I am an unreliable provider. And I'd even go as far as to bet that McDonald's missed him because of the mess we left on their floor (and they don't even have cleanup cats).
You know, when that many people miss you, you must be doing something right. Tony doesn't have a fancy job title or a big status symbol car or custom suits or a mansion to make him feel important. But he does have us. And we love him. And need him. Without him, we are just not complete.
So I'm going to make sure he knows that. Not because it's Father's Day and that's what the Hallmark card had written in it, but because it is true and he's important to us. Every day of the year.
And also that he's never allowed to go out of town without us again. Ever. Let's put that in a Hallmark card.