I stayed home today to care for my daughter, who got knocked out of commission by both of the bugs going around at baby school this month. I’m sorry that she’s sick – being sick is never fun, and is even less fun when you’re still too young to even talk about what it is that’s bothering you. But I’m not sorry to have this excuse to stay home with her, especially knowing that it’s going to bleed into what was already going to be a long weekend, and especially considering the separation anxiety that’s been causing so much pain for both of us lately.
I’m sorry that she is sick, but I’m not at all sorry that her achy belly and achy head make her want to do nothing more than sleep on my chest all day, just like when she was a tiny little baby. When we finally brought her home after that first week of separation and nightmares and miracles, there could just never be enough closeness to satisfy the two of us. She slept next to me in bed at night, she slept in my lap during the day for her naps, she went for walks strapped to my chest in one baby carrier or another. Until one day, all of a sudden, she was too big for all of this.
While it’s nice to for my husband and I to have quiet, uninterrupted nights in bed now without a baby between us, ever since my daughter stopped sleeping curled up against me, I can’t help but feel that there is a little bit of closeness now missing, and I know that this little piece of closeness that has gone away is only the beginning of a long, slow drift into the distance that will grow between us as she grows into her independence, as she grows into her own woman. And every night as I go to sleep, I can’t help but wish that there were a little Koukla there waiting for me, warm and snuggled up in her swaddle, waiting to share her dreams with me.