It's funny the things you take for granted. I stay at home, and MetaDaddy goes to work. I'm at home with the kids all day, he's at work all day. Sometimes he has to leave very early (e.g., 6AM) for a meeting or a flight, and when he does, I think "poor guy" as he wakes me to give me a goodbye kiss -- I promptly nod off again. Other times, as I'm surrounded by cranky offspring while making dinner at 6PM, I think "lucky guy." Those days, I get annoyed when he's late. Regardless of the time, when he gets home, it's a treat for everyone. The kids get to hug the daddy they missed so much, I get a relief of parental pressure, and I think he gets to relax a little (as much as you can at home with kids prodding you).
So when he goes away on business, I think it's tough on everyone. It's tough on the kids because they know something's different, but they don't quite understand it. MetaGirl might be a little less aware given that she's 11 months, but there's definitely something amiss. And MetaBoy is constantly asking "where's daddy," to which I reply "he went to the office on an airplane and he'll be back soon." I don't know if that's the best thing to say, but he seems OK with it. He chimes in with "and he's going to bring me a present!" because that's what MetaDaddy told him at the airport as we were saying our goodbyes.
Obviously, it's tough on us, the parents. Him because he's traveling, dealing with airlines, coping with jet lag, tolerating food that can be hit or miss, and missing home. Me because there's no reprieve from the mayhem. They wake with me, spend all day with me, and I only have that short bit of time between their bed times and mine. I love them, but OMG! That's a lot of giggles, whines, smiles, complaints, hugs, pushes...tears.
It's funny how getting by day by day can help you take for granted the little things. Having MetaDaddy around is wonderful because we all love him so much. But it's more than that. He helps everyone function better. He teaches and shares things with the kids that I don't. His point of view gives the kids balance. He helps me from getting overwhelmed or taking on too much, for everyone's sake. He's the yin to my yang. The woo to my hoo. The melon to my proscuitto. Mmm...proscuitto...
6 days and counting.