This morning I put my wife and daughter on a plane bound for Chicago, and ultimately Helsinki. For the next two and half weeks I will be a bachelor.
I imagine that the first few days could be fun. I can eat whatever I want. I can fall asleep on the couch and sleep there all night. I can make our dogs talk to each other in little annoying, goofy voices and have pretend philosophical debates - Topsi is a staunch Catholic Apologist and Dinky follows more of a Reformed Calvinist theology. (Oh, wait, I do that even when my wife and daughter are at home.) I can stay up late and watch "Night of the Lepus" or "Vampires in Havana" while drinking apple martinis or Disaronno. I can listen to two-and-a-half-year-old-inappropriate 80's punk as loud as I care to - which really is not as loud as when I used to listen to it in the 80's. I can drink milk right out of the jug - which I swear is purely hypothetical; despite my status as a die-hard galactophage, I would never do something as desperate and, well, gross as that. No, really. I wouldn't!
But I know that mostly I'm going to miss them terribly. I'll miss the familiar presence of my wife when I shift in my sleep. I'll miss going into my daughter's room at night when I just can't sleep to listen to her breathe and feel God's presence. I'll miss bumping into my wife as we try to get ready in the morning and find that there really is not enough room for two adults in our bathroom. I'll miss their laughter. Their hugs. Their smiles.
I already miss those things.
It's hardly a fair trade for being able to drink martinis and watch bad movies. Two and half weeks. That's 17 days...420 hours...25,200 minutes...1,512,000 seconds.
I hope they are safe. I hope they are happy. And I hope they know how much I truly, deeply, madly love them.
See you guys in Helsinki in two and half weeks!