Echos of my husband

Our daughter was in the hospital for several days this week, and so my husband and I took caretaking shifts with each child. I was with Sunboy at night and at the hospital with Flowergirl during the day; he took the opposite shift. Due to quarantining restrictions, Sunboy was not allowed to be in Flowergirls’ hospital room. We developed a quick method for swapping roles and children while our son waited in the hospital hallway within eye’s view. This meant that my interactions with my husband were limited to medical updates during the time she was in the hospital. We exchanged statistics about her feeding, sleeping and current medical condition, and then we separated until the next shift change.

When I arrived home with Sunboy each evening, I took note of any evidence proving that my husband had been at our house in my absence.

  • There was an empty glass in front of his chair at the dining room table.
  • Mail had been brought in.
  • The clothes washer had the lid left open, and the damp clothes within were starting to dry and (to my nose) smell, so I  started the clothes re-washing.
  • The cat food had been filled.
  • A light that I rarely use was left on.
  • A new fork had found its way into the sink.
  • Gift bags from a birthday party we missed had appeared on the kitchen counter.
  • A belt was stretched across the bed.

Only he would do these things, these helpful and crazy-making things. They are a window into his mind, the echo that follows him. The echos reverberate off the walls of this house after he has left it.

There were few moments during those days to exchange information regarding our activities away from the hospital. Stories of these adventures came primarily through my little liaison, Sunboy. He told tales of hikes and restaurants and a jazz band. More echos through the voice and vocabulary of a child. One restaurant in particular was difficult to pin down. “It’s only a mile from the restaurant where we sometimes eat breakfast. It was only a minute to walk there.” We are still working on descriptions of time and distance, so this description expanded the possibilities more than it narrowed them. Soon, restaurant choices became somewhat competitive. Which parent would take Sunboy to the more interesting place to eat? I’m pretty sure I lost that one with the live jazz.


I missed my husband. I wanted my family together again.

After Flowergirl’s first night in the hospital, Sunboy asked me how well I slept. Trying not to worry him, I say not too well but only because mommies like it when everyone is home where they’re supposed to be.

Tonight, Flowergirl came home from the hospital. I am thrilled and relieved that my family is together again. No more echos from my invisible co-parent. Now I have the real thing.


Sunboy said to me tonight after bedtime stories, “I’ll bet you will sleep well tonight, Mommy.” He’s right. I think I will.

6 thoughts on “Echos of my husband

  1. There are very few who can write about such nuances. A wonderful job you do of it, Kat.

    I pray that your family stays together at all times. Wishing the flowergirl a speedy recovery

    1. Thanks so much, Anita. I wrote and posted this with little editing to capture the echo as I experienced it. Wishing you and your family health as well. It’s everything.

  2. I am so very glad that your family is reunited, Kat. And I’m thrilled that Flowergirl is on the mend. I can’t imagine how difficult those days were and only you would write about it with such grace. Get some rest. You deserve it.

    1. Thanks, Liz. Rest sounds nice, but I’m not quite sure where it’s going to come from at the moment… :)

  3. So glad Flowergirl is feeling better — how scary!!! Is she as good as new now or is she still sick?

  4. Hey B – she’s still sick (and now Sunboy is sick too). We’re still in the thick of it, but I’m much more calm about it now that we understand what’s going on with them and they are starting to improve. Not knowing is the absolute worst! I don’t deal with not knowing what’s wrong with my kids very well…

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