A recent spate of intense trial preparation — followed by the actual trial — took Brad out of our daily lives for nearly two weeks.
Each day, he left for work before Bliss woke up, came home long enough to grab a bite, then was off to the office again until long after Bliss' (and my) bedtime.
I decided the final weekend before last week's trial would be a good time to leave town, so my sister, Hallie, and I took our girls to visit our ailing grandfather in Cheyenne.
By the time we got home on Monday evening, Bliss was missing her daddy something fierce. During our 45-minute dinner with him, she was full of hugs and kisses — but then he went back to the office. When she later asked if she could sleep in our bed, I couldn't say no. And it about broke my heart when she gazed up from the pile of pillows on our king-sized bed, lip poked out and quivering, and asked, “Mommy, is Daddy going to come home to sleep tonight?”
At this point, I think it needs to be said that this type of work schedule is new to Bliss. We're lucky that Brad's job doesn't often demand it, and, as such, we enjoy cooking dinner and hanging out as a family most every night. As such, the adjustment was really hard for her.
So Bliss and I snuggled up close and were quickly sound asleep. When Brad returned after a long night at the office, he joined his snoozing family. And that's when things took a turn — the cozy family snuggle just wasn't meant to be.
Light sleeper that I am, I was the first to vacate the bed for quieter pastures. Brad's snoring had me wide awake in short order, and I crawled into Bliss' pink-sheeted twin bed across the hall. Then, to my surprise, the next morning, when I woke for my early-morning run, I found Brad on the living room couch.
“What are you doing out here?” I asked, half perplexed, but also annoyed at missing a night in my big, comfy bed.
He responded that Bliss' sharp kicks to the ribs were not conducive to his sleep, so he, too, exited our bed.
Upon hearing that, I peeked into our bedroom, to see a somewhat smug-looked child contentedly asleep on my pillow. Sprawled on her back, hands behind her head and her tiny self nearly invisible in the large expanse, Bliss was the picture of — well, Bliss — in our bed.
Shaking my head — and feeling the stiffness in my neck from a long night in a tiny bed — it was not hard to wonder where the justice was in the world. But at least the small child was happy.