Ethan's been away on a course for the past week.
I've genuinely missed him . It started out with me missing him for all the practical reasons - helping shoulder responsibility for three young kids from dawn 'til dusk, being able to leave two of the kids at home while I take the other one to his swimming lesson, etc. On the day that Oliver split his head open and I had to be in work, I really could have done with him being around.
However, as the week went on and I received tender, encouraging texts from him and he checked in with jolly phone calls to the kids, I started to miss him for other reasons. I looked forward to him coming home. He too, after a week of high sociability was looking forward to the sanctity of home. Except therein lay the problem: home is not the restful place with sweetly-playing cherubs that he'd built up in his mind while he was away.
When he got home, the first few hours were wonderful: he was involved and engaged with the kids and they, as a result, were pleased to see their dad and eager to please. I soaked in the luxury of not having to do bedtime and feeling part of a partnership again.
By the next day, his enthusiasm may have been waning slightly, but still he took the kids to the park whilst I caught up with work: all voluntarily and in good grace.
However, by the end of their excursion, his reserves of energy and engagement were definitely running dry. As teatime approached, the familiar irritation and aggression with the kids began to resurface. He was annoyed with Ava for talking too much. He snapped at the boys over the volume of their voices. And he sighed loudly at me when I came too close making a cup of tea while he was using the 'food preparation area'!
Reality bites. But maybe, Aspergers or not, we're all guilty of appreciating each other most from a distance!