Teyla had just fallen asleep, when I heard the wails. Connor, in his room on the other side of the house, was sobbing.
I slid out of Teyla’s bed, set down the laptop and, on tiptoe, ran down the stairs toward the sounds of distress.
Had he fallen off his bunk? Did he cut himself with a forbidden object? Did he clunk his head on the ceiling?
None of the above. I found him sitting on his top bunk, surrounded by his usual band of Lego brothers, tears streaming down his cheeks, bawling at the top of his lungs: “I MISS DAD!”
Half surprised, half heartened (no blood and no vomit - score one for Mom), I dismissed Natalie, who had run into Connor's room on my heels, ever the vigilant big sister. I stood on the ledge of the bottom bunk and hugged Connor and brushed his still-wet hair and whispered the universal Mom soothing phrase: “Shhhhh. It’s OK, buddy. It’s OK.”
Connor is so into his Dad lately. He doesn’t just love him. He needs him. He inhales his Dad’s attention like a person drowning.
And maybe he is, a little. All this travel, it wears on us. Boys need their daddies. I know it doesn’t always work that way in our world. Daddies travel, daddies get busy, daddies leave. But I believe that is wrong, with every fiber of my being. Dads are crucial. They are important. They are needed as much as oxygen, maybe more.
Eventually, Connor stopped crying. He wiped away his tears with the back of his hand and sniffed a few times. He gave me a picture he had drawn for Corey, an orphan who has grown into one of the best dads I know.
And then Connor turned to me, with markers in hand.
“Mom, what’s your favorite color?”
Little boys need their mommies too.