Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I leave her tomorrow

Tonight was the last time I put Maddy to bed for 4 nights. The last time I gave her a bath, fed her solids... Tomorrow morning Neil and I leave for Kelowna.

I am having a hard time with leaving. Instead of packing I spent the afternoon playing with her. I had her giggling for about 10 minutes straight, by nibbling on her arms and legs and sides and cheeks and pretending to sneeze and singing! I am going to miss Maddy and her smile and her laugh and her smell and the way she feels in my arms. I am scared she'll start crawling while I am away. Or that she'll cut her first tooth. I am worried she'll be hard on baba. Mostly, I am worried she'll forget me.

I have never been away from her this long. Baba and Dido have been away from her that long and she was a little uncertain when she saw them again. What will happen if I walk in on Monday and she plays shy? Or worse, doesn't seem to care if I am there or not...

But despite my sadness and my fears, I am also looking forward to the chance to get out of the city. Neil and I will have the opportunity to spend some time together, talking and reconnecting. Not that there are problems between us, but right now there is not a lot of time for just the two of us. We'll get out a bit and go for a leisurely dinner out, drink some wine, walk and sight-see. And talk and talk and talk. And I think this, looking forward to parts of the vacation, is the hardest part. My baby girl is 6 months old and I am looking forward to a vacation that won't have her there.

I feel like a bad mother for this, although I know spending some time on Wendy the woman and Wendy the wife will only help Wendy the mother. I think there is an expectation of martyrdom that comes with motherhood. That a good mother never sleeps (and never complains about it), never takes time for herself, never stops working or cleaning or cooking... Anything else is selfish and denying your child something. I know rationally that this is not true, that emptying myself without ever filling myself up is not good for Maddy in any way. But the pressure of society to do so weighs heavy on my shoulders.

I love you Maddy. I will miss you every second we're apart and I will be thinking of you almost all the time. I'll only be away from you for a short time, and when I return I promise you that we'll spend hours together playing and laughing. And next vacation? I promise it will be all three of us together.

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