This past weekend I had to go out of town for a work conference, and not only was I just leaving town or the state but I was going clear across the other side of the country to Seattle, Washington, and while I was super excited to go to a city I had never visited, it was also the farthest I had been away from my girl. And that tugged at my heart. A lot.
See I have to travel quite a bit for work, and I keep waiting for that to get easier. I'm told it never does get easier, but still. It's difficult because Aubrey is that age where she's old enough to know that I am gone but not old enough to understand that I will come back. It's a tough thing to explain when your mommy suddenly just isn't home when you get home from school. And hearing about her falling apart in the driveway when T had to tell her that Mommy wasn't home just killed me. I wanted to be there. I wanted to comfort her. I felt like I was letting her down by not being there and I worried that she would resent me for it.
Irrational? Perhaps, but I'm a mom so I get to be irrational every now and then. She's my little girl, and she was sad because I wasn't there. That seriously killed me.
I came home Tuesday afternoon and got in around 1:00 a.m. Wednesday morning. I was gone for a total of three sleeps for her, which seems like forever to me. And her. T was able to get her calm on Tuesday by telling her that she went to sleep, Mommy would knock on the door in the morning. And I did just that. Her reaction was priceless. She kept touching me like she was trying to see if I was real. And smiling and hugging. Mommy missed her, too.
Of course, an hour after I got her up I had to run to the dentist to fix a broken filling (another blog post), and she had to see me drive away yet again. That look on her face still makes me feel incredibly awful. But I did come back, and as soon as I got home, she took my shoes and put them away. "No more leaving, Mommy!"
The cutest thing of all was what she told her friends at school when I dropped her off this morning, gave her a kiss and closed the classroom door, "That's my Mommy! It's my Mommy!"
So much emotion - heartache, guilt and complete happiness and unconditional love. I suppose I should get used to this for the next..um...few years? No, I'm thinking this feeling never goes away. It just grows and changes.
But Mommy is home with her Aubrey and very happy to be.