Recently, Nath wrote a post called 565 Days. He had to go away for work for three days and it was the first time he’d been away from Darcey. We pretty much had Skype open for the whole time we were home and he was able to virtually be with us and for us, at least, the time flew by. I tried really hard to brush it off when he left and said that it would be fine and that he was being daft and all the while my heart was beating that little bit faster than normal because I knew that in a little over a month, it would be my turn. And there was nothing about that that was going to be ‘fine’.
I knew a year ago that I was going to be going away on Monday 21st March. Each year I take around 50 students out to the World War One Battlefields in France & Belgium with my school. It’s an amazing visit and one of the highlights of my school year, each year. But this time it represents a whole load of different emotions that I’ve never been ready to experience, and I very nearly didn’t rebook it because of that.
You see, exactly 600 days ago on Monday, the day I board a coach at 4am with a herd of Red Bull infused teenagers, I had been told by the midwife to get some rest whilst my beautiful, brand new, perfect little girl slept next to Nath and I. Sleep?! Who needed sleep?! What if she stopped breathing? Or what if she needed feeding? Or a nappy change? Or what if I just missed out on a single moment of her awesome brand new existence? For 600 days, I’ve always kissed her goodnight, read her a story and then stood next to her before we go to bed and just breathed in this incredible little thing we’ve made. And exactly 600 days later, for the first time, I won’t be able to do that. And it terrifies me.
I can’t count the number of people who, when I’ve quietly told them about my anxiety about going away have said “Oh, she’ll be fine, it’ll be you who’ll suffer!”. I know that. For Darcey, very little will change. Daddy will take her to Auntie Ro, to nursery and to Nana and she’ll come home and have tea with Daddy, bath time and a story and fall quietly asleep under her stars. But there are some things that only Mummy can fix. And I’m so scared that I’m not going to be there to fix them and that I’m going to miss out on three entire days with my girl. We’re never going to be those parents who send their children off to a grandparents to stay for the weekend. Everyone said to us “oh wait until she’s older and you’ll be biting people’s hands off for a night off!”, well, we aren’t, and we’re not going to get to that point because every second away from her is a moment too long. And the thought of not being with her and waking up to her curly haired little head in my face saying “love oooo!” is already breaking my heart.
Thankfully my itinerary is absolutely packed so I’m hoping I’ll barely have time to breathe, let alone cry but there is no doubt that I’ll be missing her and Nath more than she has any comprehension of. Thank heavens for technology nowadays, I’m hoping to be able to Skype them on the second day and I don’t care one jot about the “never wake a sleeping baby” rule; the second I walk into that house on Wednesday night, I’m walking straight up to her cot and stealing myself a sleepy cuddle. Hopefully the thought of that will be enough to keep me going for a few days without them both!