It was a warm summers evening, things were just normal, except there was a sense of urgency in the air. An urgency to make everything stop, to make the hours of this evening stop ticking by. In the morning we would be facing a whole new normal, the first day of this new adventure of being a FIFO bound family. But for right now, we were trying to put that to the back of our thoughts. For right now we would concentrate on this moment.
Mr FIFO husband and I seemed to work in rhythm with each other, every evening we would just get things done. Dinner, dishes, bath, bedtime, we were so in sync we barely had to speak. We moved through this evening no different. As always he would tuck Mr Four into bed and read him a story, and I would sit on the rocking chair in the next room with the baby. I would always leave the nursery door slightly open so I could hear their nightly conversations echo through the hall way.
I turned the bedroom fan onto a quieter lull so I wouldn’t miss a word of their story. I listened to my husbands voice change as he projected different parts of one of their favorite books. The Lorax. They both knew it so well, so well in fact that Mr Four could recite the entire book along with his dad. The syncing of their words always made them both laugh.
The book finished, but I could tell Mr FIFO husband wasn’t quite ready to let this last evening with his son go just yet.
“Daddy will be going tomorrow my Son”, I hear my husband say. “I’ll be going far away and I won’t be able to come back for a long time”.
Concern enters our sons voice. “I’m going to miss you lots daddy. How far away are you going?”
“So far away son ,that I can’t come home every night” I hear them discuss.
Trying to reassure Mr Four, Mr FIFO Husband continues, “Son, you know how much I love you right?”
“How much daddy?” Mr Four says.
I imagine my husband reaching his arms out wide as he whispers “I love you so much, I love you more than the sky!”
“Wow that’s a lot daddy” Mr Four says giggling.
By now the baby was asleep in my arms, I held onto him, and stared at this little 6 month old baby. His tuffs of blonde hair, gently blowing in the breeze of the bedroom fan. This little boy knew nothing of what lay ahead. He would grow up over the next year, knowing nothing different. I knew this was what we needed to do, but almost every inch of me wished we had just another day. Even one more day. I didn’t feel prepared for it. An entire month, alone with our two little boys. I prayed the weeks would just go by fast.
We had been preparing for this day for months now. We were given a lot more time to adjust to the idea than I’m sure a lot of other families get, for that I was grateful, but it didn’t change the anxious feeling of uncertainty of what lay ahead. I’m not sure anything can prepare you for FIFO life, until your just doing it.
I heard Mr FIFO husband give one last good night kiss to his son. “I love you son. I’ll see you in the morning OK”. I am sure I can hear a quiver in his voice as the reality of it all begins to set in. I watched his shadow as he stepped into the hall way and slowly began to pull the door shut behind him.
“Daddy?” I hear, just before the door is closed.
“Yes son!”, Mr Fifo husband eagerly replies.
“Daddy. Do you know how much I love you?” I hear Mr Four proclaim from his little bed.
“How much Son?”
“I love you so much daddy, I love you….. Bigger than the moon…”
And with that, my husband went back to his son’s side, and I stayed holding onto that baby. And for just a moment. One small moment.
Time stood still. xxx