I’m leaving today for a conference. I spend 363 days per year with the Piper. I’ll be gone for two whole days. And yet Piper stalked me all night. Every hour her little face was at the side of the bed. “Are you still here?” She crawled in bed and cuddled like her baby self used to. We snuggled and snoozed. Then I put her back in her bed, but she found me again.
“You’ll be in here in the morning, right?” She opted to keep me in her sight. I opted to add layers and layers of mommy guilt. It’s hard to leave. We’re still umbilically connected.
“I’ll be back, P. Mommies always come back. Grandma and Grandpa and Daddy will be here. You’ll have so much fun you won’t even know I’m gone.” I said all the right stuff. I’ve made all the right arrangements. This shouldn’t be so hard, this leaving thing, but it is.
“But when will you be back?” Piper asked.
“Two days. That’s it. I’ll be back Sunday.”
“Why do you have to go?”
“For work, honey. I’m presenting research at a conference. It’s part of my teaching. It’s an exciting opportunity for me. Aren’t you proud of me?”
Piper nodded. “I just wish you didn’t have to go,” she said with big, sad eyes. I looked at the clock. 2:34 a.m. And I let her stay.