I didn't know quite what to feel about spending my first night away from Simon. I was excited, really, about being free of that responsibility for more than an hour or two, but unsure if this emotion was appropriate. Should it be killing me inside? Should I be sick with separation anxiety and go back early? Hmmm....not so much.
We left Simon in the excellent care of his Grandma and headed out for German wine country, only a one hour drive from Dusseldorf. I couldn't imagine not seeing Simon for a whole 24 hours - but I was ready. We had been planning this for months, knowing that my mom would be in town and this would be a rare opportunity for us to have childcare we were comfortable with for Simon. I started pumping over a month in advance to make sure he had enough milk while I was gone. (I know - after all that milk I donated I was a slave to the pump once again!)
And really, it was great! Even though I missed Simon like crazy, it wasn't hard to be away from him. I didn't think about him every second, and I enjoyed spending time with my husband.
Two days later I was headed to London to visit my Dallas colleagues who were there for a conference. Once at the airport waiting to board the plane, I realized that this felt different. A one hour drive versus a one hour flight - I had a small knot in my stomach, and I kept thinking if my flight got canceled I wouldn't be too disappointed. That flight, that act of getting on a plane and flying away from Simon, that felt different.
Once in London with my old friends, however, it seemed somehow surreal that I had a little baby waiting for me back in Germany. I missed him, but I needed my time as well. I had rarely stepped out of the apartment with Simon in tow. It was time for me, and I needed it and I loved it and I missed him.