Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The First Time

On Thursday, I will board a Greyhound bound for NYC without my family. Minus the 46 jelly bracelets, ripped fishnets and frosted hair, I am almost just like Madonna circa 1979. Almost.

Actually, I am headed to conference in Manhattan where I will stay with my friend and hopefully get some new projects started. It is going to be a great getaway (if I were not six months pregnant, it would be even more fun). So why am I so ambivalent about it?

I know that I will come back here on Sun night and post about what a great time I had and how much it meant to be able to get away for a few nights. But in the meantime, I am so scared of leaving the little bean.

Until this weekend, I would have been able to honestly say that I have not missed a day of her life. Now that will no longer be true. I never thought I would be one of those attached at the hip moms, especially given how independent my own was. But maybe being a cancer, I am more wedded to my home than I even want to believe because the thought of three nights away from her makes me a little queasy.

Please note, I am not leaving Sam with the hobo down the road. Nor am I leaving her at the "sober house of pedophilia," which I have just learned is not far from our house (believe me, a post on this is in the works). In fact, she is staying with her immensely capable and loving father. But that is not my problem. I know she is in good hands. My problem is really one of attachment. It is the same dread that I feel each time I pull away from her daycare. I love her teacher and love all the new tricks she learns when she comes home from a day spent there. But I also miss her insanely.

Isn't it crazy how I can write one post about how I need my independence and the next about how much I cannot stand to be away from her? Ah, the ambivalence of motherhood. We are damned if we do and damned if we don't in the most beautiful sense of the sentiment. I never imagined feeling this attached to anyone or ever feeling like I honestly could not live without someone. But this is how I feel each day with Sam. If I allowed myself to indulge my fears about what could happen to her and what would happen to me if something did, I would have to be institutionalized. Somehow I feel like as long as I am within a short drive from her, I can stop anything bad from happening. But that is insane and at some point I am going to have to put some trust into the universe and into statistics. In all likelihood, I will return to her on Sun, safe and sound. And she will be here, also safe and sound.

Today as I was leaving her daycare, I had the same feeling of amazement R and I had when we were sent home from the hospital. "They are actually letting us take this baby home?" R asked me on the ride home. "Are they nuts?"

Sometimes I need to be reminded that I am a mom. And other times, like when I am planning a trip 200 miles away from her and wanting to cry just imagining it, I need no reminder. No one but a mom could feel this.


g&c boyarko family said...

I sincerely hope you have a wonderful time and enjoy the break from Sam even though I have no doubt it will be difficult. It will be great bonding time for her and R! I too will be leaving my little one for the first time ever at the end of June for 4 days and am already sweating whenever I think about it. I wonder if it ever gets easier!

Lis Garrett said...

I know exactly what you mean. I moan and groan about how difficult three kids can be and pawn them off on the grandparents anytime there is a school break just so I can regain a little sanity. But within a few hours, I miss them terribly. I roam the quiet house not knowing what to do with myself.

I've yet to leave all three at once (Bridget is still attached to the boob). And while I *long* for that day when I can truly have a break, it'll be a shift in our relationship.

Sam will be fine. Have a great time on your trip. :-)

Kristi said...

I understand completely. I hope you have a wonderful time, and enjoy the mini-break from motherhood. It's interesting this unique feeling mothers have about leaving their babies. I have a feeling fathers don't feel half the guilt we do when they're apart from their kids.

Tracey said...

Hang tough, hon. It'd probably be more of a concern if you WEREN't feeling trepidation over a long weekend away. Especially your first one.