Matthew's been gone now for three days. Three long days. I think Jonathan believes that is a lifetime but he's coping. I feel like part of me is missing and Laura quizzes me at least three times a day about where Matthew is. Don made the observation that our house is far too quiet without him. He's right. One of us is missing and the rest of us know it. We miss his smiling face, his constant banter, the teasing, the jokes, the channel surfing, the bike ride breaks in our day. We just miss him.
I realize that the Matthew who left won't be the Matthew who returns. He'll come back more grown up in several ways than he was when he left. He always does. So for now I'm missing the person he was, and wondering who will come home in his place. Growing up can be so hard for our kids. It can also be hard for us.
I also realize I'm missing my daily goodnight hug and kiss, too. He always pretends he's too grown up for it all, but when I don't ask for it before they head to bed because I'm busy doing something domestic, he seeks me out to get his before he can go to sleep. I love that bond we have - somehow it is the same as I have with the others and yet each is special in its own way. Built on our individual experiences and growth we've had up to that moment. Forged in the quiet moments we spend together. Grown in the daily life of a family.
I can't wait until Friday afternoon. Until then, I'm keeping him in my prayers knowing the Lord is doing His thing with him while he's gone. Will you please do the same?