#104 In which our hero comes home.
Just got back from Atlanta. I was there for the Direct Marketing Association’s annual trade show and exhibition. It was a strange and wondrous thing, and I’ll be writing about it soon.
I was there for four days… not the longest amount of time that I’ve been away from my family, but long enough. My mom came up and stayed with The Scientist for the weekend, but there was still two days when it was just her and the girls. Which isn’t that big a deal, she can handle it. This, of course, is easy for me to say, since I was out eating at fancy restaurants and drinking heavily while she was trying to convince the oldest girl that she needed to stay in her big-girl bed and go night-night, already!
I checked in regularly every night to make sure that the wife wasn’t having a psychotic break or anything, and all seemed to be going fine. But then, the third night I was away, The Scientist told me that Lily missed me. She didn’t come right out and say so, but she apparently moped around and said, “Mama, I sad. I sad.”
Holy shit, does that break your heart? It broke mine.
Now, it’s bad enough that a 2-year-old even has a comprehension of what it means to be sad… but to realize that I was the reason she was sad… well, that nearly pushed me over the edge.
Thankfully, my boss abandoned his plans to stay an additional night and we flew home the next evening. I got home late, so Lily was already in bed. I stood over her for a long time, watching her sleep. I was glad to be home, and I was glad that my little girl would no longer be sad on my account.
And sure, I was happy to see The Scientist and my younger daughter (we started calling Lily “the little girl” and it stuck; we’ve tried calling Macey “the littlest girl,” but it doesn’t seem to be taking hold) but they don’t need me, really. But the little girl needs me, I mean, really needs me. For whatever reason she’s turned into a huge daddy’s girl. Not that I’m complaining, mind.
Now, when we found out we where having a girl (the first time), someone, my mom maybe, said that I would be wound tight around her finger. I refuted this, of course, saying that that just wasn’t going to happen, that we would be good parents, but firm when we had to be, with none of this “wrapped around your finger” crap.
Well, I am here to say that I am wrapped around the little girl’s finger… and I like it.
That morning was like Christmas morning for me… I couldn’t wait for Lily to wake up and see me. As soon as she started to move around and call for her mama, I jumped up and went into her room. Her eyes lit up and she said, simply and quietly, “da-da!”
It was fantastic. I mean, how many people do you know where you can make their entire day just by walking in the room? I picked her up and she stroked the back of my head, saying, “Hi, dada. Hi, dada.”
Later there was some fussing when I made her sit on the potty and then some crying when I got her dressed. But for that one golden moment when I held my daughter in my arms after a four day lapse, nothing else mattered.
I came home, and everything was again right in my daughter’s world.