It was still dark this morning when you left for work. As always, you kissed me on the forehead and I mumbled a sleepy “love you” before rolling over and falling back to sleep. When I awoke an hour later, my heart sank at the realization that yet again, I wouldn’t be seeing you until evening.

Man, I sure miss you.

It sounds silly, doesn’t it? That I could miss someone who I see every single day. But sometimes in this season I feel like we’re little more than ships passing in the night.

We share quick goodbyes in the morning.

We send, “How’s it going?” and, “What are the kids up to?” text messages back and forth when we can find a spare moment—questions that often go unanswered in the busyness of the day. 

We greet each other with a quick peck after work and try to catch up over dinner, but that’s all but impossible to do between requests for more milk and negotiations for just one more bite.

“We’ll finish talking about this later,” we always say, while one of us herds the kids to bed and the other stays behind to clean up the kitchen. Deep down, I think we both know the conversation will be lost somewhere in the heap of other forgotten conversations that have been interrupted by the chaos of this season.

We’re two married people who mostly go about our days separately, each trusting that the other is holding down their end of the fort.

I know it’s all part of raising young kids. 

And I know it’s just a season that won’t last forever. 

But still . . . I miss you. 

I miss lazy Saturday mornings when we could linger in bed as long as we wanted, drifting in and out of conversation and sleep and kisses. For that matter, I just miss sleeping in the same bed for eight hours every night without tiny bodies sprawled out in the space between us. 

I miss being able to sit at a restaurant and enjoy each other’s company, rather than cleaning spilled cups and stray French fries off the floor. 

I miss the days before a 20-minute car-ride conversation while the kids sleep in the back seat was the best quality time we shared all week.

I miss having a camera gallery full of pictures of the two of us on all of our adventures rather than one filled with only photos of the kids (although I do love those, too).

I miss flirting. And kissing. And talking about everything under the sun.

I miss how passionate and exciting things between us used to be.

Now, Saturday mornings are just like every other morning: a scurry of early wake-ups and cereal bowl filling and cartoon watching. 

Now, our midday phone calls are more, “Will you pick up a gallon of milk?” and, “The kids are bouncing off the walls” than the flirtatious “Hurry home to me,” they used to be.

Now, our nightcaps equate to half a beer while we keep an ear open for stirring on the other end of the baby monitor.

This life we share? These kids we’re raising? This chaos we live in? I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. But a big part of my heart yearns for the time when “us” meant two instead of five. Back when we connected on things other than parenting, bill-paying, and household-managing. Back when we were a priority.

I miss you, and if I’m being honest, sometimes it makes me a little afraid. In the back of my mind sits the fear that if we keep on missing each other this way for much longer, the ties that bind us might start to unravel. That we might lose what we once had and never find it again. 

But then we lock eyes over something funny the kids did, or you reach for my hand as we drive down the road, or you wink at me when I come down the stairs wearing a dash of makeup and actual pants, and I know—we’re in there somewhere, and our love will be waiting for us on the other side of this season.

So tonight, as I sit rocking the baby and listening to you shush the boys in their room across the way, I just felt the need to let you know . . . 

I love you, babe—and oh, how I miss you.

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Casey Huff

Casey is a middle school teacher turned stay-at-home-mama to three littles. It's her mission as a writer to shine light on the beauty and chaos of life through the lenses of motherhood, marriage, and mental health. To read more, go hang out with Casey at: Facebook: Bouncing Forward Instagram: @bouncing_forward