Every morning when my daughter wakes up, she cheerily declares how many days left until she leaves. Every morning as the number gets smaller and smaller, my heart hurts a little more. We are down to nine days before she leaves me for a month. A month, four weeks, is such a long time to my mommy-heart. My baby (I know, she is six and would roll her eyes if she heard me calling her my baby) has never been away from me for more than seven days, and those were the longest seven days of my life. I was on my honeymoon for those seven days and my husband and I both cried on days three and five because we missed her so much.
Every morning as she gives me an update on the countdown, my panic renews. She has a new step-sister at her father’s, and she can’t wait to be the big sister. While visions of playing dance through her mind, visions of her new step-sister getting preferential treatment dance through my head. While she daydreams about swimming and playing in the sand at the beach with her father, I envision her father’s back turned as she swims unsupervised and all the awful consequences.
Am I being a bit melodramatic? Possibly, but try telling that to my heart.
Her father’s new wife is also six months pregnant. Another jab to the heart as I continue to pee on ovulation prediction strips (that have yet to be positive) every morning and pray this cycle will finally be THE cycle. I couldn’t possibly love Eva more than I already do, but there is this thought that I have that makes it sound like I don’t want her to exist. The thought of, “Why couldn’t my infertility have happened while I was married to him instead of now, married to my good husband?” I feel like my one, good egg was fertilized by the wrong sperm. If I could still have Eva just as she is, but have the other half of her gene pool excised and replaced with my husband’s, that’d be great.
Ridiculous doesn’t cover it, I know.
Every morning, as she gives me a kiss before she is off to summer school or I’m off to work, I remind myself that she is the one good thing to come out of all the bad. The other half of her gene pool doesn’t matter even if it means I have to ship her to California every summer until she is eighteen, the other half is still half of her, and all of her is perfect. I wouldn’t want a single thing about her or her personality to change, no matter what it would mean.
In just a couple weeks, every morning I wake up it will be just me and my husband. My heart hurts and tears sting my eyes at that thought. He and I will be a little lost without her. All I can hope for is some overtime while she is gone to help keep my mind occupied.
I requested an extra day off for the trip to take her to California. I figured I would need it when I came home as a day that I get to sit and cry and wallow in my self-pity for a moment so that hopefully I can lock it away the rest of the four weeks she is gone.
Still, I can’t help but think about all the parents out there that have to send their child to a different state for eight weeks out of every summer, and every other spring break, and every other Christmas break. Does it get easier? Is it this hard because it is the first time? Eventually, I’m sure there will be an argument between her father and I as he tries to push for her to come out there for longer periods of time and more often. How can that much upheaval in a child’s life be beneficial, though?
Every morning I wake up, I say a prayer for her that God will watch over her while she is away. Maybe I should start including myself in that prayer. One of my best friends has a credit card on standby should I need to fly out there unexpectedly to bring her home early if things aren’t going well. I also pray that I won’t need that credit card. I pray for her to get the love and attention she deserves. I pray that she is treated well, and that she has a wonderful time. Even if it means I have to share her more in the future, I really do just want her happy. I want her to feel like she has wonderful people in her life that love her, not that her mother is great and her father is awful, or, my worst nightmare, that her father is great and her mother is awful.
Maybe I should try sleeping until noon, then maybe my mornings will be greatly improved.