But, there is one way that I know that the kids are more deeply affected by his absence then they let on: Nightmares. Normally they are all great sleepers. We are rarely ever awake during the night, since Abby was about 6 weeks old. Once they are out, we don't hear from them again until the morning.
Except...when Joe is gone. Then, it' not unusual for all three of them to wake up at some point during the night with a nightmare for the first two or three nights that he is gone. Not all at the same time, each one takes a turn. When I say "wake up" I mean suddenly screaming hysterically and sobbing uncontrollably. It scares me to death and then I can't get back to sleep. It's one of the hardest parts about him being gone.
Now, to the point of this story....
Last week, one of the nights Andrew woke up screaming and sobbing about 2 AM. I dashed in to comfort him (and try and keep him from waking up the other two). Once he calmed down enough that I could understand what he was saying, I had to smile even though I was exhausted. This is how it went:
Andrew: "But WWHHYYYY????"
me: "It's the middle of the night and everyone is sleeping."
Andrew: "But why can't we have Family Home Evening??"
Then he simply climbed back in bed and was asleep.