I’m on a week-long business trip away from home.
It’s the first time I spend this much time away from my daughter.
I acknowledge that lots of people have it much, much worse, with business trips on a regular basis, long work hours and even some people who leave home for months at a time. But I had become used to being able to see her pretty much every night, and never being away from more than a couple of days at a time.
I’ve never been one to “miss” people when I’m away. I’m too logical for that, I know that I’ll see them soon and that the trip is temporary, so I’ve always left with an easy heart and returned happy to rediscover the people I’ve left behind.
But this is different.
It’s not an overwhelming sensation of misery at the time not spent with my daughter, I’m only gone a week after all. It’s just that little sense that I didn’t spend any time with her today, that she’s doesn’t interact with video calls the same way she does in person (or at all, preferring to try to put the corner of the telephone in her mouth), and that I would enjoy just holding her for a few moments before she falls asleep. It’s a small thing, but it’s a tangible and identifiable loss and I’ve not felt that before.
In my darker moments I wonder if she’ll pass some tremendous milestone while I’m far, far away and that I’ll forever regret missing her first [insert important event here]. I know that’s a little paranoid, but having a baby changes the way you think about certain things in ways that are hard to explain.
I’ll see her again in a few days, and until then, I will content myself with her image on my computer when I manage to get a call in to my wife.