In a few moments I'll shut down the PC. I'll finish up the work of a legendary rabbit. The overstuffed baskets have already been placed on the bay window ledge. The eggs have been filled with small chocolate bits just waiting to be hidden. Two toys nestle deep in two eggs daring me to be stealth as I gently place each one in the respective beds of two sleeping eager children.
I'm a lone Easter Bunny this year. I take pause in my holiday secret to reply to emails written half-a-world away. Tonight my husband, the other half of the bunny, is moving closer towards Monday as we prepare to begin Sunday. We'll be rubbing sleep from our eyes and hunting eggs as he's hunting out properities for new office space in Asia-Pac.
It's not the same without him here, but having access to email at least means we're in frequent contact without cashing in the kid's college funds to afford phone calls. I write him long emails filled with the minutia of our day. I know these sometimes dry, rambling round-ups can seem pointless but he looks for them upon waking and before hitting the pillow. He checks for them as often as he can get acess until he finds one - something to keep connected.
He'll come home after nearly 2 weeks away and he'll ask our son about the matching PJs he refused to wear tonight. The unintentional purchase of warmer weather PJs that suddenly seemed like a great idea to ensure adorable Easter morning photos. He'd be in blue Mickey Mouse pajamas. She'd be in pink Minnie Mouse. Logan put his foot down - "No way. I don't want to match."
Daddy will smile and say "But Logan, I'm sure you really would have rather worn the Darth Vadar PJs, but perhaps it wasn't the best thing for Easter morning. I think those fire truck jamas were perfect!"
He'll pick Megan up and he'll tell her she must have made a pretty princess in her Disney Princess nightgown - her first ever nightgown that even had a layer for silver stars on soft sheer fabric to rest over the hot pink pseudo-ball gown design. She'll smile and pat herself on the chest as she says, "Pretty princess."
He'll know he missed the real moment but he'll not have missed the detail. It's not much, but it's something.
And we, we know that he's with us in some way. He's telling us about the things he sees and the places he's gone. He's sharing stories of the office spaces he's touring and the people he's met. He's commenting on the pictures we've sent him of the new bedroom furniture that's been ordered for each kid room. He's not here, and yet in a way he is.
Logan knows his days of the week. He has a decent concept of time although going too far out gets understandably too abstract for him. We count off in milestones - we'll be going to see Thomas the Tank Engine just before your birthday. First it's Easter, then Mother's Day, then my birthday, then Father's Day and THEN Thomas...and then you'll be 4. Something tanglible. In school they count the days between class in "sleeps." As we leave on Thursday the teacher hugs each child tight and reminds him/her, "I'll see you in five sleeps!"
We've been counting Daddy's return down in sleeps and milestones. We've simplfied it to school days - Logan, you will go to school THREE times before Daddy gets home and then he might get home Tuesday night after you're in bed so you may not see him until dinner on Wednesday.
Logan sighs. "That's a very long time," he says.
And it is. Email might be nice, but it's not the same. It's only half real - half there. Yet right now, it's what we've got.