Tomorrow we leave on our first trip away from Cheeky. It's only a weekend adventure to the wedding of a great friend of ours in Florida, and she'll be heavily spoiled by ECG while we're gone. But we're starting to feel a strange, unfamiliar sensation, which more experienced parents probably recognize. Although we're psyched to have some time on our own--and to party with friends someplace that doesn't look like a scene from "The Day After Tomorrow"--we're starting to feel some separation anxiety from our daughter.
Will we miss the way she cries out in her sleep, making us wonder what kind of nightmare she could possibly have at this point? (Nail-clippers? Subway smells? Daddy's breath?) Will we miss the cranky hour before bedtime? Will we miss wiping sludge off her butt? Probably not. But we'll definitely miss the way she grins--and occasionally smirks--at us in the morning. And the way she wraps her arms around Claud's neck when she's carrying her. And the warmth of her body as she falls asleep on our laps. I guess I always knew that having a kid was going to soften me up, but now that it's happening it's a wild and wonderful thing.
Metrodad, one of the best daddy bloggers out there--and who also happens to live here in New York--wrote a nice (and timely) entry on coming back from a week-long vacation without his daughter a couple of days ago, and he summed up my feelings pretty well. The push and pull between needing time for yourself, your spouse, and your whole family will surely be the ongoing theme of my life, and I may never get it completely right. But I may finally be starting to "get" what all those crazed Jodi Foster & Michael from "Lost have been trying to say to me all this time....
How sad is it that I still take my parenting cues from fictional characters?