Where’s The Pot Of Gold At The End Of This Rainbow?


Artwork by Jed, age 5

The house is finally, blessedly, quiet. The sound of my fingers tapping these letters out on the keyboard is the only one I hear. And when I stop doing that, there’s a faint, grumbly snoring floating on the air next to me. That’s Pretzel the dachshund, curled tight in his old doggie dreams.

The house is so quiet, so still, so peaceful because the kids are in bed. I kissed them all before they fell asleep (not the teenager, he doesn’t like to be kissed… yet). Good night, sleep tight, love you. The TV is silent. The kitchen is closed. And my husband is out of town.


He travels a lot. Every week. Usually for two or three days, but lately it’s been for longer. Maybe five. Maybe all week. Usually to Texas or Florida, but lately it’s been further. The Philippines. Or Bangladesh.

Usually I’m fine with it. He’s always traveled, for as long as we’ve been married and even longer than that. I’m used to it, and so are the kids and Pretzel the dachshund. Some days the kids forget he’s gone. “Can Dad take us to school?” they chirp, wild hope in their bright morning eyes. He’s been gone two days.

We’re used to it. We’re fine with it. We get on with it. Usually. But lately, it’s too long. It’s too far. It doesn’t feel right.

We’re a seven-colored rainbow when we’re all together: mom, dad, four kids, one dog. The violet and the red don’t always get along, the green and the yellow hide the remote from each other, and the orange needs to be taken out every hour. It’s not a gentle arc of harmonious hue, when we’re all together, but the colors do blend more happily when all seven are present.

It feels long and too far away this time, it’s true, but there are a few shiny positives to one less color in the house:

Less discipline! This is not necessarily a positive for me, but I’m sure the kids appreciate one less parent hearing them argue, threaten and hurt each other. Which means a fifty percent reduced chance of being yelled at or banished. Favorable odds for them I’d say.

Breakfast for dinner, breakfast for dinner, breakfast for dinner! Cereal, toast, eggs any style, even bagels and cream cheese. My husband actually does like a bowl of cereal at night every once in a while… But the kids don’t notice that the breakfast they ate for breakfast is being served again for dinner, every night. As long as they’re eating something, they’re happy. And as long as they’re eating, and are one step closer to bed, I’m happy!

Schlepping multiple kids to different places all at the same time is hard enough when there are two licensed drivers around, and damn near impossible when it’s just me. But here’s where my heart warmed to see one big brother help one little brother at the baseball photos today, because I couldn’t do that and drive to the karate tournament. Sibling assistance is a terrific way to combat sibling rivalry!

The silence. It’s truly golden. Once those kids are in bed and it’s just the dog gently snoring next to me, I do appreciate the few hours of complete solitude. If only it didn’t drag on for days.

So the rainbow is a little short on color right now, and sometimes it even feels a little washed out with one shade missing. But there are moments in the day when it shines pretty bright… and of course the pot of gold at the end is that we’re almost halfway through that long week, and soon he’ll be home. With presents.

This post is a sequel to Please Switch to Airplane Mode, written last year around this time. It’s interesting to see how things change. And stay the same!

This is a Finish the Sentence Friday post, inspired by the prompt, “When it comes to St Patrick’s Day…” Hosted by Kristi from Finding Ninee, and co-hosted by Kelly from Just Typikel and Lisa from The Meaning of Me.

19 thoughts on “Where’s The Pot Of Gold At The End Of This Rainbow?

  1. I just love your writing, Nicki. I really do. What a lovely, quiet post about family. I especially love the bit about one brother helping the other. It’s the kind of thing that warms my heart too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Kate! I love your writing too, all of it.
      The quiet and the helping don’t happen often but when they do, it’s wonderful! My last words to them before they fell asleep last night were: Be kind or be quiet! I think it’s our new family slogan :).


  2. Ah your words, your words, your thoughts. I love the rainbow imagery and can fully picture Pretzel snoring nearby while you tap tap on the keyboard. I’m sorry the travel feels longer and too long but breakfast for dinner is always a plus. I’ve been craving veggie Benedict recently and have not given in because calories but mmmm I may have to. For dinner. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I almost went with eggs again tonight, but manage to rustle up sandwiches. Hope your dinner was delish!
      Thank you. For you, and for FTSF, and for you. xx


  3. Your imagery of a rainbow is just perfect, Nicki. My husband doesn’t travel much, but when he does, I can relate to so many things you say. I like the quiet and the breakfast for dinner, but I like all of us sleeping under the same roof. Even my snoring dog.

    I hope you get a good present 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I also like your use of the rainbow here, Nikki. My husband rarely has had to travel for work – and even when he did, most nights he was back home. The overnights only happened a very few times for us. There was a part that was exciting, girls only, special time together. But yes, I do prefer my whole family under one roof.
    Be kind or be quiet is fantastic! I think I may borrow that. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Loved this Nicki! Love the rainbow image, so beautiful. I can very much relate of the husband traveling parts. We call it breakfast for supper in our house, but it’s always a favorite! Hope the week goes by quickly. Xo

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nicki, My husband doesn’t travel as much as yours, but when he does – I’m all about the breakfast for dinner. And one time, just gave the kids ice cream! But I really feel for you on the carting around aspect. I already begged my husband to hold off (if at all possible) on all travel till after track season is over. I would be DOA! And I LOVE the rainbow analogy. Perfectly beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Traveling spouses can be the pits. I’m lucky that way. But I know what you mean about it being heartwarming to see the older kids helping the younger kids. It’s that sense of family bonding that makes all of the effort seem worthwhile — if only until the next dramatic crisis! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. All good points about having a husband who travels. Mine travels a good amount though not every week. My only major complaint is when he comes home at like 9:00 pm which is just late enough to not be helpful be early enough to keep me from putzing around online for an hour. 😉


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