If you have noticed the absence of someone on the blog lately, you are probably wondering what in the world is going on. Where is JD?! Since mid-May, he has been working in Saudi Arabia. For 185 days, the girls and I have missed our daddy, our boy. Last night he returned home to us.
A lot of people asked me how I managed being a single mama to 2 little ones for 6 months while JD was away. I never quite knew how to respond. There were a lot of hard moments, lots of times I struggled and outright sucked at everything I was doing, but I found a way to do what needed to be done. There's no choice to do anything else but handle everything by yourself when little kids are involved. You can't really lay down and give up when 2 little girls are like, "hey mom, we're hungry and we want to go to the park. Stop being weird and take care of us."
In hindsight, I suppose I managed everything with the help of friends that knew when I needed them, family support (even if it was from 2500 miles away), and lots of prayer. Thankfully, there weren't too many bad days in a row. There were always a few really great days that followed the terrible ones. And when all else failed, we operated in survivor mode. Dinner picnics at the park trumped dining table meltdowns, princess dresses to the grocery store seemed like a reasonable compromise in the midst of clothing battles with a 2 and 4 year old, and iPads in bed totally counted as a nap on those days when the girls refused to nap but I needed a break.
Some things didn't change at all with JD's absence. We never missed church, we utilized the same bedtime routine, and did chores as usual. It was important to everyone that things were basically the same around our home while JD was gone. The things that were different were both blessings and curses though. Knowing that I didn't have to cook every night or keep our living spaces as clean as JD likes them was liberating and depressing to me. On the days that I ignored laundry and left stickers on the walls, I cleaned everything like a crazy person the next day. I never realized how much my domestic duties made me feel like a wife until I wasn't required to do them for a time. I felt married and unmarried at the same time. Every day around 4 o'clock I would get so sad knowing that it really didn't matter what I served for dinner. The girls were just as happy with scrambled eggs as they would be if I served them chicken piccata. I missed my food-loving man.
The girls did pretty well without their daddy. I don't mean to be insensitive when I say that, but they are little and honestly probably won't remember the past 6 months without him. Not much about their daily routine changed while he was gone. We Skyped and FaceTimed with him everyday so they got to "see" him and we talked about him constantly. They did great, but obviously life is better with a daddy. They were so excited to bring him home with us last night.
I was really nervous about re-acclimating to each other again. He's been a bachelor for the last 6 months and I've been a single mom. So many things about our routine had changed and were about to change again as we worked ourselves back into family life. None of that mattered when I saw him last night though. My scruffy, jet-lagged man looked so good to me walking off that airplane, all I wanted to do was smooch his face off. All of that other stuff will work itself out in time.
JD had a great welcoming at the airport. Along with us, his office people were there with signs and balloons and hugs. The folks waiting to board the plane at the gate where JD deplaned applauded as we reunited with our daddy. It was emotional, my heart was bursting with love for my guy.
He's home now and we're not letting him go anywhere for a long time!