The girlfriend gets home this afternoon after having been in DC for a week. It's nothing unusual; one or the other of us is typically someplace else at least once every couple of months, but I still get a little antsy in the last few hours of waiting for both of us to be home at the same time again.
When I was in high school, my stepdad took a second job driving charter buses on the weekends to bring in some extra cash. Being a typically self-centered teenager, I secretly rejoiced every Friday night in the knowledge that he would be gone early the next morning and not return until late on Sunday. He was a smoker and I wasn't crazy about him anyway and was glad to have him out of the house for two days at a time. I never thought about my mom facing weekend after weekend--the only time they really had to be together--without him, and how the runup to the Friday nights that signified liberation to me must have felt much differently to her.
And that's why I don't spend much time wondering about what our respective kids think about the periodic absences that swing one way or the other. My girlfriend's coming home this afternoon, and I'm watching the clock.