Wednesday, June 25, 2014

dear james

dear james,

i have a surprise for you when you get home from your business trip. it's a simple surprise that i know not a lot of people would notice, but i know that you will. you notice small, simple things about our house, about our yard and our garden. you care about how high the grass is and about pruning the bushes and the trees. you went to school for just that, after all. had a landscape business for a few years, driving those trucks with the big trailers on the back filled with all the dirty equipment. although i imagine your equipment was never that dirty, washing your tools after you used them. not because you are anal or picky but because you know the importance of taking care of your things. a value i hope we instill in finnegan.

james, you should have seen him today. he misses you. I can tell. he was full of such spunk and will power. we had class this morning and he wasn't up for it. he got up and walked to the door saying "I'm not being nice" under his breath with a sad look on his face. it made me sad too because that's the last thing i want finnegan to say about himself. sometimes we all have those moments, i know.

i've been thinking about one of those moments i had on monday evening. right before you were leaving for your trip. i've done this before and i shamefully did it again. i regret not hugging you properly before you left. i wrapped my arms around you but not tight enough. I kissed you but not with enough substance. i always feel sad and upset when you're leaving. i sigh a little deeper and drag my feet across our hard wood floors hours before your good bye. while you are packing i'm trying to convince you not to leave, "we can run away and you can become a fishing guide. don't go". all the while you are trying really hard to keep a positive outlook. "it's six short days" you remind me. later you admit that the week does seem long to you, too.

in truth i know that we are lucky that you leaving for a week of work makes us sad and a bit unglued rather than thankful for some alone time. we don't want to be alone. and when it was storming last night and i opened the windows and the breeze was coming in our tiny bedroom and i had the candle on my nightstand lit and I watched the sassafrass branches outside swaying in the wind, I really didn't want to be alone. i thought of you and wished you were next to me listening. i know how much you love sleeping in storms. nights seem long and wide without you.

so i want to say i'm sorry for acting like a six year old pouting. and i want to say thank you. and i want to say that if you were here right now i would give you a legitimate squeeze, the ones that make it hard to let go. the same type of hug we had seconds after we were pronounced husband and wife. how long was that hug? i can call to mind your hands in my hair and my arms wrapped tightly around you, my fingers digging into your shoulders, and your breath in my ear. but what about everything else? were we like that for seconds? for a minute? were my eyes closed or open? was your grandma smiling through a little tear? was our then two-month old finnegan in the arms of a family member, bundled up in his blanket, asleep? i can't recall.

all i can remember are my legs shaking a little with nerves, the excitement and wonder of getting to be named your wife. and the earthiness of your scent...heat, soft soap and a new suit.

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