So I spent last weekend in Baltimore for a conference. I was able to leave with the knowledge that although we didn't yet know what was causing Woody's problems, the MRI showed it wasn't anything truly terrible. Miss B is old enough to understand what was going on and to think nothing of it. Sister Goldenhair, on the other hand, was probably confused as to why her mommy got a little teary-eyed dropping her off that day.
This was the first time I'd ever been away from her for so long or such a distance. And while some people are able to put their parent side away for a time, I have no such ability. I thought about the girls constantly. I tried to enjoy my time away, but I found myself thinking about home and wondering what Miss B was doing in school or if SG was asking for me.
Baltimore has spent a lot of money trying to beautify the inner harbor area. At first it seemed quite picturesque. But then my inner mom took a good look and was properly horrified. Here is a picture taken in that area. Can you see the problem?
If you said, "Oh it's actually quite lovely." You probably don't have a small child, or at least if you have a small child you are likely not from a totally landlocked area.
If you said, "Holy crap! There's no railing! What in the world is supposed to keep kids from falling in the harbor and drowning?!"... Ah, welcome friend. Welcome to the world of panicked parenting! You're just one newscast away from a MRSA-induced panic attack. So the prospect of taking your child to a large, brown body of water unguarded by even a slight barrier is horrifying to say the least (I mean come on, not even a curb to keep strollers from rolling in? They're killing me!).
So while I am glad I did not have to worry about my kids taking a dunk in the harbor, I still missed them a great deal. And just when my longing was most acute, God would have a little fun with me. Cute babies were suddenly everywhere. Adorable toddlers abounded. Even beautiful little girls seemed to be coming from everywhere.
Even when I didn't see them, I heard them. Delicious giggles and sweet little voices floated in the air. Even frustrated cries in the shops were given a rosy tone. Happy or sad, those voices were music to my deprived ears. Like a homesick child at summer camp, I longed for the routine chaos of home.
It was hardest first thing in the morning and last thing at night. My evenings at home are spent snuggling with the girls and getting them ready for bed. SG and I have been singing "Baby Mine" together lately as I rock her to sleep (*sigh*). And mornings around here are pure magic to me. The girls end up snuggled in bed with Woody and I, dozing and tickling and just relaxing and playing before the day really starts. Oh how I missed this.
Despite all this I am planning to go to next year's conference in Chicago already. I did enjoy the opportunities to gain some professional knowledge and to get to know some coworkers better, and I do believe that it was good for the girls to have me go and come back. Maybe I will do a bit better next time around. But then again...