Tomorrow morning I get on a plane to leave the country for three weeks. I’ve been away from home loads of times and spent months abroad by myself but this is the first time I’ve been so reticent about taking a trip. I’m leaving the Buddha, now nine months old, for the first time since he was born. I’ve been with him, literally since he was a fetus, and I was there when he was born. I have never spent more than nine days away from him and now I’ll be gone for three weeks. It sounds ridiculous, I’m sure but I’m scared shitless. What will I do without his cute baby gurgles and his now toothy grin? How will I cope without the constant aroma of spit-up all over my clothes? Miserably, I tell you. I’ve recorded myself singing to him so that he won’t forget my voice and I made sure that they have pictures of me with him so that he won’t forget what I look like. What? I know it’s a bit neurotic but three weeks is a long time in his life okay!? I’ve also uploaded mini vids of him on YouTube so that when I’m really missing his snuggles and laughs I can watch him on my computer.
But I’m still very, very sad and I’m not sure why. Logically, I know he can’t forget me in three weeks. And I know that I’ll have a lot of fun. That this trip is important. But lord how my heart aches to think about leaving him. I’ve done everything for him, short of nursing him. I was there when he was born, when he first sat up, when he ate his first food, when he got his first tooth and when he stood up, bracing himself on the furniture. I was there when he got his first cold and his second and his third. I rocked him and put him to sleep when nothing short of drugging him would work. I’ve walked and rocked, and sang and slept with him in my arms and lord how I love this boy. He’s turned me into an oxytocin junkie. I can’t cope going through a day without a moderate amount of cuddles. I love every inch of him. His soft hair, his big blue eyes, his mile long lashes. Everything, even the way, his chins reek of vomit when spit-up collects and sours in his rolls. Even how he pulls at my hair and tries to eat it. Even how he’s starting to develop a temper or how he screams bloody murder when I set him on the floor. And I know it’s ridiculous. He’s not even my baby right? But I talked to him when he was in the womb and I held him moments after he was born. I even got to touch his umbilical cord and exam his placenta. I’ve changed hundreds of his diapers and given him countless baths. Taken him for walks and played on the floor with him for hours on end. I couldn’t love him more if he was my flesh and blood. And lord how I’m going to miss him. I’m afraid he’ll get a new tooth while I’m gone. Or hit a major milestone without me. And it’s purely selfish, I know, but I’m worried that maybe, he’ll love me just a little bit less when I come back. That maybe, he won’t need me as much anymore. That he’ll realize life goes on without nanny and I’ll be second string somehow. Or maybe, he’ll figure out that I won’t always be there. That I’m not a permanent, inimitable fixture in his life. That I’m not, like I sometimes wish I was, his mother afterall. That I’m just the nanny. And that, I think, will break my heart more than just being apart.