Barbie Comes Home

Barbie Comes Home

August 31, 2007


Our youngest child, our daughter, returned to university for her last semester a couple of weeks ago.  Since she had her car home for the summer, my wife and I decided that someone should drive back with her.  Eighteen hundred miles is a long ways for a 21 year old woman to drive alone, we reasoned.  I had prior commitments so Barbie volunteered to take vacation time to drive out with Sarah.  They went through Wyoming and Utah down to southern California.  All went well.



Barbie took time to help Sarah set up her apartment, stayed a few days with her parents, and spent time with our oldest son and his wife and our two grandchildren.  In fact, she became the primary babysitter for a few days.  She flew home last night into Omaha where I gladly picked her up ($780 into Sioux Falls versus $119 into Omaha ? okay, I'll drive the two and a half hours down).



I was glad to pick her up because I was tired of being alone most of the time.  A new respect for widows, widowers, and single people surfaced more than it ever had in other times of separation from Barbie.  After thirty-four years of marriage (almost), a lot revolves around each other.  Not so much in certain hours of the day, but in the rest of the non-work hours.



Of course, I made plans to play golf almost everyday after work since I didn't have to wait for her to get off so that we could dine together.  Then it rained most days so in two weeks I only got one golf outing in.  When it didn't rain I needed to mow the overdue lawn.  I read and wrote and prepared for upcoming classes in the evenings, with liberal amounts of sports playing in the background, something I might not do to such an extent if she were home.  But it wasn't the same as carrying on conversation about something that happened at church or at work or in the newspaper or over anything or nothing, actually.  Just conversation with someone you care about, someone safe to let your hair down with.



When I was a grad student at UCLA and teaching at Biola/Talbot, Barbie would often ask me to talk to her when I arrived home.  She earned her living babysitting children and needed adult conversation.  In truth, probably just conversation period, I would now guess.



God intended that we would have partners in this life.  And if we do not, he specially gifts us to compensate.



Welcome home, Barbie, I missed you.  I have not been so gifted.