It is too quiet.
It is too quiet, and I can’t sleep.
Plain and simple.
I don’t often (never) complain about not living with Joe. Okay…maybe I have a bit here or there, but mostly I keep all that crap to myself. At the end of the day, it is what it is, and bellyaching isn’t going to make any friends for me.
But now? Following this trip? This time around has been hard.
It’s been hard for the simple reason that this last visit has been wonderful beyond words. And over the past 10 days we’ve solidified that a certain little is completely in love with her daddy…as if we hadn’t come to that conclusion already.
My week went as follows:
Ellie-girl would wake up in the morning and call to be picked up. Every time I got up to get my smiling bean (which was not often, thank you JW), I was met with wide grins and an immediate request for “da-dgy”. I would snuggle her neck and breath in her sweet baby smell as we walked into our bedroom, where (upon sight of daddy) Ellie would kick and laugh and squeal so loudly that any hope of returning to the slumber still pulling at our eyes was chased away. She would run like a wild child to arms ready to scoop her up into a papa bear hug. And she would plant his scruffy face with sweet kisses and soft pats. And we would cuddle.
Oh, how we cuddled.
Cuddling with a toddler is a feat in itself. But we managed. And it was simple and amazing and lovely.
For 10 days, my girl had her daddy. And she was happy. SO happy. My Ellie is typically a happy little nut, full of life and smiles…but she seemed to be extra happy. Extra excited that she got to share her little world with another person. An extra little spark.
And tonight that extra little spark has faded.
We dropped daddy off at Logan, and Ellie started to cry when she realized she wasn’t getting out of her seat to explore with daddy. She cried harder when he kissed her face and said his good-byes. She pulled at her belt, reaching for him and yelling out “Da-dgy, da-dgy” as he came to the drivers window for a last kiss from my teary-eyed face.
And then he was gone.
In all of this, I knew Joe and I would have a hard time being apart. But I never really considered that Ellie would grow up enough to understand prior to us living together again.
So as I wiped my face off and pulled onto 93, I told her in the same happy voice we use when she leaves daycare at the end of the day “bye, daddy!!! See you later!”
Which was met with “bye, da-dgy” in a soft, little voice. Over and over again.
I cursed not having an EZ pass as I paid my toll, red-faced and snotty, knowing the crabby toll-lady thought I was nuts.
And when we got home, my little ran around corners, giggling with expectation that she was surely going to “scare” her daddy out. Slowly she began to realize that daddy wasn’t there. It hurt to see her enthusiasm and grin fade with each passing turn and corner.
She softly sat down at her seat and quietly ate dinner. No chatter, no giggles, no running around with gentle reminders to chew-chew-chew and sit on her bottom. Too quite.
She went to bed without fuss, but as I passed by her room I heard her crying softly…long after I thought she was sleeping. After rushing in, picking her up and kiss-bombing her sweet little face until she laughed, I thought about how her sweet hugs and kisses filled my heart…and wondered if mine did the same in return.
So we are here. Awake and unable to sleep.
And da-dgy is there.
And this sacrifice seems more unbearable when seen through her 18 month-old eyes.