Well, we’ve done it. New Girl, New Dad and I have all survived my first trip away from home since New Girl was too young to realize it. At least I think we’ve survived — I’m typing on the plane home and am hoping that my daughter has given her father a third peaceful bedtime routine. Being away was in some ways easier and in some ways much harder than I thought. When I was working, which was during most of my awake hours on this trip, I was able to concentrate and focus like the old, pre-pregnant me. Knowing Daddy was on call for emergencies, and that no matter how late I was running, I wouldn’t have to worry about picking up my baby, gave me a certain kind of peace that is elusive at home. At the office, my heart skips a little beat every time the phone rings, thinking it might be an emergency at the center. Every meeting or conversation that goes past 5:15 leads to a rush to get to my daughter before she’s completely exhausted herself. But 1,500 miles away from home, those responsibilities melted away.
Almost. (When New Dad didn’t return my calls one day, I did call the center to be sure he had picked up our daughter. He had.) But when I missed New Girl’s evening call one night because the cell phone never rang, and I had to hear her say “love you” for the first time over voicemail, my heart both leapt for joy and nearly broke into pieces all at once. Missing her has been hard on me, but knowing she misses me is almost torturous. I cannot wait to get home and watch her sleep in her crib. I cannot wait until she wakes up in the morning, so I can surprise her with my return, and I can see that beautiful half toothy/half gummy smile. I can’t wait to get home…and stay there for a long while.