This week you started daycare and I went back to work. You appear to be ok with this arrangement. Your teachers tell me you’re eating and sleeping just fine, and that you smile when they talk to you.
I, on the other hand, am not so great. It seems unnatural to leave you each morning. It feels wrong to pick you up in the evenings and not know what made you smile, cry or coo that day.
I miss you in a big, achy kind of way. I wonder if you’re getting enough love and if you feel safe. I hope you’re too young to miss me back, but I have no idea. The mind of a baby is a wildly mysterious place.
Here’s a little secret, though: I am never really gone. Imagine a long silver thread—light as air, yet strong as steel—that connects me to you. It doesn’t matter if you go to daycare, summer camp, college or the bottom of the sea. We will never be more than a heartbeat apart.
What I wouldn’t give to hug you right now. To smell your magnolia perfume and feel your short, baby-fine hair against my cheek.
I want to go over to your house and sit amongst your billions of Halloween decorations. There’s the black cat hand towels with the feather tails, the fiber optic skull candle, the string of pumpkin lights slung across the mantel…
I want to sit on your bed, legs tucked underneath me, while you show me the outfits you recently bought. Four pairs of the same crazy pants in different colors. Three identical shirts in different prints. A handful of sparkling costume jewelry to match.
I want you to see my daughter, to hold her in your arms. I want you to marvel at her long eyelashes with me. I want you to experience what it feels like when she looks you directly in the eye, opens her mouth wide and smiles. The fact that you will never know the joy of her is unfathomable to me.
Mostly, I just want I miss you to mean that you are off on a long, glamorous trip somewhere or that you moved across the country. Not that you are gone forever.