By: Brandy Black
I used to travel for work at least once a month. This was back when we didn’t have a kid or a dog and going to New York or the Bahamas was nothing. I’d pack at midnight and get to the airport with barely enough time to race onto the plane, coffee and magazine in hand. I would pray that children were nowhere near so that I could sleep to my destination. Travel was easy. It did wonders for our relationship. I would come back with great stories of late-night cocktails and fabulous events and Susan was refreshed and ready to have her wife back home. We’d call in sick the next day so that we could have sex and lie in bed half the day and then go to a late lunch. There is something about space that does a marriage good. It occurred to me back then that most of my long-term relationships prior to Susan had been long distance relationships; no wonder I had stayed with them so long. I have always liked having my time, my friends, my life, and the ability to miss my loved one.
It’s a little different when you have a dog and a kid. Vacations are with or for family and they aren’t really vacations, but rather “trips”. They are exhausting. I dread the airport. Everything is planned and scheduled and there is always a lot of stuff. I haven’t had a vacation alone in four-plus years. I can’t even imagine it, really. What would I do with myself?
Susan left today for Nashville to work on music with her producer. Lucky girl. She left with one small carry-on suitcase, a magazine, and a rock-n-roll agenda involving dinners and private parties. I’m so jealous.
I’m flying solo with the dog and kid. I realized this morning when I kissed her goodbye that I’m going to miss her. Miss her. Wow, what a feeling. It hurts, it makes me sad, and it’s beautiful to know that the spark is still alive. The last time she left to do music (about a year ago), I shoved her out the door. We had been fighting and frankly I needed the space. But now, it’s different. It’s sweet. I want her to call me every two hours –which she won’t, she never does — but I want it and that’s all that counts. Although my daughter and I will have our special time together and take care of one another, we will miss Mom.
The last time I truly missed Susan like this was when she went to China with her mom. I think they were gone for two weeks. I filled my days with work, yoga, and dinners with friends but I missed her terribly. When she told me that she had the option of getting home a day or two early if she flew into San Francisco, I jumped at the chance to make the 6-hour drive by myself to wrap my arms around her. I remember the giddy feeling standing at the airport waiting for her to step off that plane. When she finally walked out, I raced up to her and she reeked of China. The smell was so strong I could barely stand it but when our lips met I could feel my whole body melt into hers. It was the most romantic arrival. I took her back to our hotel, insisted she shower, and the rest of the night we lay in bed in each other’s arms. I think about that moment when I worry that 13 years together has robbed us of true romance, missing the feeling of her fingers slipping between mine and holding onto me as if she would never let go.
I’ve always felt that “missing” is a necessary component in a healthy marriage because when it is still there you know the relationship is alive and the romance is thriving beneath cleaning, picking up the kid, making lunch, rushing off to work, and barely kissing hello at the end of the day. So I will enjoy missing her so that I can cherish her when she gets home.