Yup, I said it. I miss her. Em has been at her dad’s house for 2 weeks now. I didn’t cry when she left, as I had in years past. This time it took 2 weeks for the emotion to catch up with me. I think I was actually unconsciously trying to run away from it.
I’ve pretty much only been home to sleep. Em left my house on the 12th (she didn’t actually head out of state until the next morning); I spent that night with my family, boyfriend and friends singing Karaoke at my favorite bar. I took the 13th off since I usually don’t do well the day of/after Em leaves. I spent the day getting prep work done for a root canal, then just loafed around the house. On the 14th, my parents, my boyfriend and I saw “My Sister’s Keeper.” On the 15th, I got my root canal done, then went to Disneyland with my boyfriend to take random and fun pictures. The 16th I went shopping for a baby gift and had Sushi with my mom (and later my sister, her husband and his mom and her boyfriend showed up). On the 17th I went to a youth event at church; we played Quelf, ate dinner, took in a late Harry Potter movie, then slept on the floor. The 18th saw exhaustion as I woke up on the floor of the church, had a quick coffee with some of the other youth sponsors, took a nap, went to a baby shower, then went swimming at a friend’s house to cool off.
After church on the 19th, I took myself out to lunch and then took a 4 hour nap. Monday the 20th I went out to dinner with a couple of girlfriends. Wednesday the 22nd I was out in L.A. taking my Life Agent (Life-Only and Accident and Health Agent) license test (I passed, woohoo!) and celebrated by having dinner and dessert at a friend’s house. Thursday the 23rd I went out to dinner with more girlfriends. Friday the 24th I went out to dinner with the same girlfriends from the night before, plus a few of their men. Saturday the 25th my boyfriend and I went to the OC Fair and Disneyland. And yesterday I went out to my boyfriend’s church and then his house for his grandma’s birthday celebration. And that’s where I finally broke into tears.
On Saturday, while at the Fair, my ex-husband called with Em on the phone, who was crying so hard she was hiccuping. She’d woken up from a nap and instantly started to cry for me. I was on the phone with her for about 20 minutes trying to get her to stop crying. She missed me, and I didn’t try to dismiss that, but acknowledged it and tried to get her to tell me all that she’d been doing so far at her dad’s house. I think it was a combination of her schedule being totally disrupted and being old enough to actually realize how much time had passed and how much more time was ahead of her before she came home. I did my best to calm her down over the phone with loud fair noises around me. I hung up missing her a bit and feeling that heart-pain that only comes from being separated from your child; it’s hard to describe, but almost every parent has felt that at some point. Your heart literally aches and feels like it’s sunk farther into your chest than physically possible. But I only thought about it for a minute or so.
Then yesterday, my boyfriend’s mom asked how my mom was doing, and I jokingly responded, “I don’t know, I’ve barely seen her!” (I live with my parents). I explained that I’d been out a lot since I’m childless for a while. Then she asked me how she was doing and if I got along with my ex. I tried to keep it light, since we were celebrating her mom’s birthday, but gave the brief synopsis of keeping the relationship amicable for Em’s sake, and how frustrating it is to be supporting her without my ex-husband. While talking about it, I felt my eyes welling up and made my way to the restroom. And I let loose. Full-on sobbing hot tears. And in trying to not let anyone else hear it, I cried even harder. I think I cried for about 10 minutes before I was able to clean myself up enough to make it to the front door so I could finish in my car parked next to the house. When I finally went back into the house, either no one knew I’d been crying, or they politely let me be.
I wonder if I’ll ever not cry when my daughter’s away, or if I even want that to happen.