I’d had it all planned out.
As soon as I’d tiptoed away from the rooms where the sleeping children lay, I’d fly down the stairs, curl up on the couch with my laptop, and revise some copy while watching Ellen. With a glass of wine. It was a snow day after all.
But by the time I got back to the living room, he was already there. Settled in on the couch and dialing in to the first of two phone calls that he’d rescheduled to naptime from their original times earlier in the day. It was a snow day after all. Meetings move and adjust to children’s sleep schedules.
So I left the TV off and settled into a barstool instead. And I opened the copy and began to edit while behind me and not more than six feet away he joined his call. And his voice became background noise that was better than Ellen even though she is joyful and happy and I like joyful and happy. Because his voice as background means he is close. He is here. I really like when he is here.
We used to do this more often. Back in the day. When we didn’t need to hoard days off like the rare commodity that they are when children have schedules of their own, not to mention illnesses and snow days and a world where business as usual is never really usual at all. When we didn’t have to keep an eye on being present in the office at every possible moment to make up for all of the moments that just aren’t possible. We used to do this. Stay home together. Work while being close.
It seems so strange but there is something about it that is so lovely. You might think it shouldn’t be. Sitting in the same space as your love but completely ignoring him and, at the same time, begin completely ignored. He in his world, me in mine. No room for interruption. We might as well be miles apart.
But we’re not. We’re both here. Not more than six feet away. I can turn around and look at him and see him there. I can hear his voice. And there is a closeness that comes from just being there. In the same room. There is a comfort in that. In him being there. In knowing that we can do this. In knowing that when his calls are done and my copy is edited and the babies are waking from their naps, it will still be a snow day. And we’ll still all be together.