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What it’s like when my children are away

on April 22, 2012

First, there’s the waiting for Ex-Husband to arrive.  I don’t want them to go, but if they have to, I’d like to get it over with. Big Girl is excited and keeps asking where Daddy is.  But I think she’s also a little bit anxious, so she pushes Little Girl over, falls over, cries.

Then he’s here and they’re gone.  It’s quiet.  I am not sure what to do with myself, by myself.  Sometimes I’m rushing out and have plans.  Sometimes I’ve jobs to do which I then put off. Wasting time is a luxury for me now.  And so the day goes on.  I have that strange feeling, as if there’s something I’ve forgotten to do, but try as I might, I can’t remember it.  It’s my children.  They aren’t here.  It feels as if I’ve left a parcel on the bus.  I don’t really know where they are, who they are with, what they are doing.  Do they miss me?  Are they eating enough? Are they safe?

I usually go out in the evening, when they are away overnight.  It’s exciting.  I get to be a grown up. I get to drink without needing to worry about squashing Little Girl while we sleep.  My alcohol tolerance is pretty poor now but I do my best.  And then I come home.  I come home when I want.  For the first time in ten years, no-one is really that interested in where I am or what time I’m back.  I can stay out all night if I want.  Obviously I don’t want to.  I want to sleep.  But it’s liberating.  And just a little frightening.

And then I get up.  I do more stuff.  I eat badly – fry-ups, chocolate.  I like not having to think of anyone else.  Suddenly it’s starting to get towards time for them to return.  I crave their return.  I have missed their little selves.  I have missed who they are, their presence.  But I also feel the clock ticking, stealing away my time to do the things I want to, the things I need to, the jobs I recklessly put off yesterday.  And I find myself wishing for just another hour, although I desperately want my babies back.

They’re home. Little Girl is glad to be back, smiles at me.  Big Girl is glad to see me again but doesn’t want Daddy to leave.  She cries.  He goes.  She cries piteously.  “Daddy.  Dadddeeeee. My Daddeeeeeeee”.  I cuddle her.  At bedtime I tell her that I missed her.  Did she miss me? Never ask this question, I have learnt.  I am glad to have my girls home.


2 responses to “What it’s like when my children are away

  1. Ruth says:

    Sarah, it must be hard and such a mix of emotions. My parents looked after mine this weekend while Ben and I went on a church visioning thing (yeah I know, crazy rock and roll). It was nice having the freedom to sleep all of Saturday afternoon after staying up too late on fri night but I did miss them.

    • It is hard – it’s the mixture of emotions as much as anything, I think.

      I always stay up too late when I don’t have my children and then regret it a little bit. And the sad thing is I’m mainly just replying to emails and facebook messages. Tonight I’m staying up late ordering food from Tescos.

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