He's been gone for several days. At first, it didn't bother me. The kids and I went on with our usual routine. Coffee for me to kickstart the day, the children bouncing and chatting; toast crusts left uneaten and dried cereal flakes caking onto bowls. Ironing at the last minute. Jumping into the car to go here and there. Laughing at Ben's dumb-but-funny jokes. Admiring Laura's fabulous, intricate drawings. Dinner a rowdy, happy affair - each child talking over the other, clamouring to tell their news. Bedtime cosy with cuddles and books. Life went on smoothly without him.
After a couple of days, though, I began to feel a little sad. Each morning I half-expected to see him, and was disappointed that he wasn't with us. I knew he lifted my spirits, but I hadn't realised just how much I'd begun to count on his presence to brighten each day. I wished fervently for his return. I knew all would be well with the world when I laid eyes on his sweet face again.
Today, he has returned, and the kids and I are overjoyed. He's back! We adore him!
Tony, the tawny frogmouth, is perched in our tree once more.
(Oh, and Fatty returns from a conference tomorrow!)