Ha! I. Was. Wrong.
Granted, he travels far less than a lot of dads and husbands I know, but far more than I thought I'd signed up for. Throughout the year he has retreats and conferences and training opportunities, and summers bring camps and youth group trips and mission trips. It was fun before we had kids and I could travel with him, but toting all these kids along isn't a possibility anymore, at least, not at this stage.
He was away on the annual Spring Break trip with his high school students last week, so I played the role of single mom during his absence. I have SUCH an appreciation for actual single moms or moms whose husbands are deployed for great lengths. It's exhausting work.
I've heard of some moms who go out of their way to make the time alone with their kids just hopping and really special. While I think that's awesome, I just can't do that. First of all, I don't have the energy. In my mind, I'm "that" mom who can play entertainment director and plan a fun-filled week of never ending excitement, but the truth is... I'm not. Secondly, I don't want to have so much fun while he's gone that the kids look forward to him being gone. That said, I do try to do a few simple things that are out of the ordinary, for my own sanity as well as theirs.
This week, I planned two simple things that would last throughout the week in order to keep my kids engaged and keep me sane.
First, we started reading a novel each night before bed. We read at least one chapter a night, and are still reading it. The girls LOVE IT. I plan to blog more about that, so I won't get into that now.
The second thing I did was make a big "Welcome Home" poster for Gary. When he was gone earlier this month, the girls made a dozen "Welcome Home" signs and cards for him which they taped all over the walls. Knowing they'd probably do it again, I beat them to the punch. The banner also served as a countdown to when Daddy would be home.
They were each allowed to paint one or two letters per day until the day he'd be back home and it was finished! They absolutely loved it and looked forward to painting time every day. And it was SO EASY!