In Which I Am Seven Months Old Again

I’m being irresponsible tomorrow. I’m ditching the baby and I’m driving (being driven) out to the camp where currently resides my husband, and I’m going because I feel like there is a husband-shaped hole in my chest, even though he’s only been gone a night and a half so far, but I can’t breathe without him around, and he keeps me sane.

I’m going, because I miss him already, even though he would only have gotten home two hours ago if this had been a regular work day, and I remember all the reasons why I’m not an army wife, like so many of my dearest, most-adored friends, and I am grateful, and I am ashamed, because I am not as strong as they are.

But also, it occurs to me that I am going tomorrow because it is camp, not just because it is where my husband is. Packing him off, sending him to camp with one of my scripts and no way to ever see it performed, to know if the message was Right, and clear, and true – it is wrong. It is not, really, because I have a small person, and he is my world at the moment, because I am his. But it felt wrong. I need camp.

Church has been hit and miss over the last term – hard with a small child, especially a baby far too young to sit quietly and play, but also too old to sleep through the service – just exactly the right age to know that people mean fun, and attention, and to crave it. And it occurs to me that the husband-shaped hole is not as big as the God-shaped hole.

And that is why I am like a seven-month old: I know who God is, and I know that I want him around, but I’m the child who’s crawled out into the middle of the floor and forgotten her way back. I can’t remember which way I came from, where I left Him, which room He was in… and I’m out of strength to crawl, and I can’t walk, and all I can do is sit in the middle of the floor sobbing – Mummy, I need you, come find me – God, where are you, please pick me up. I need a hug.

I’m seven months old, and I can’t walk to God, and I’ve forgotten which way to crawl – so tomorrow, I am going to be irresponsible, and go to the camp I’m not supposed to be at, and leave the small person behind – but maybe, just maybe, I will find Him there.

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