I cannot count the mornings I have kissed each of the children on the head before heading out the door and off to work. Typically Winnie sits perched on the sill looking out on the birds in the Linden while Pip and Olive stretch out on the big pillows thrown across the head of the bed. Duncan often lays in front of the door and looks dejected and sad, especially after a weekend of long walks in the park, early mornings playing in The Glen or exploring The Wrangle. After I am gone, locking the door and descending the thirty-seven steps to the parking lot I can find him in the window looking down on me, his eyebrows raised and his head cocked quizzically. Many times, with a paw resting against the glass, he looks so broken-hearted I've climbed the stairs and returned just to give him one extra hug and a pep talk to get him through the day, whispering promises of bunnies and games of fetch, treats and belly rubs when I return.
This morning while I poured a cup of tea in the kitchen I watched as Ken gathered his things and left for work, kissing each of the cats and pausing in the door to scratch Duncan's chin before he went. "You be good," he said and was gone. Duncan turned and wandered down the hall to the bedroom window where he stood in the morning sunshine and waited for his dad to appear at the bottom of the stairs. Ken, unaware that I was there, turned and looked up at the window, waved at Roo and climbed into his truck. Dunc's tail thumped happily three or four times while he waited for the truck to back out, drive down the parking lot and turn the corner. Once Ken was gone he sighed softly and climbed into his bed, his chin perched on the edge of his pillow, his eyes looking out on the sky on the other side of the glass, as though counting the minutes until the far side of this day when we'll both come back home to him.