Missing

Be careful asking God to reveal things about yourself that you need to change. This summer has been one revelation after another, for me.

Sarah and Abbie have been gone for a week, traveling with their grandma to see Luke’s brother and his family. There was a rumor that Abbie was getting homesick, and when we here at home heard about it, we wondered why that would be. Sure, we are a remarkable and missable bunch, but look at all she was getting to do there, that she doesn’t usually have the opportunity to do. A day later we could see that those fears were a little exaggerated; she was having a great time and told Daddy all about her roller coaster ride.

Yesterday I read a blog post that got me thinking. The lady was saying that every day her son was gone at camp she hurt inside knowing he was an hour away. As I pondered this today, the thought came to me- do I miss Sarah and Abbie like that? Yes, we can’t help noticing they are gone, with less places to set at the table and more seats available in the van, but am I in pain over the void they have left? No, I would have to say, I don’t miss them like that. When Luke leaves, I miss him like that, but I don’t feel that when my children go away.

On the one hand, this is a good thing. The child who is away is most likely coming back, and while they are gone they will have a wonderful time. On the other hand, maybe this reveals a part of me that resists getting close to people, even my own children. I could excuse myself by pointing out how many children I have and how many daylight hours there are…but I think this is a time for introspection. Do I intentionally try to spend one on one time with each of my children, getting to know them as people? If not, this should change. Steps to this end will be small while we are still in a season where the littles exist and are so demanding of my time and attention. But I must start somewhere.

Another good thing to remember is how overjoyed I feel when the child returns. I might not have been devoting much brain time to them during their absence, but my heart immediately knows when they are home again.