I’m going to an academic conference tomorrow. I’ll be gone three days, two nights, and this makes me incredibly nervous. It’s the first time I’ll be separated from Sophie for more than twelve hours. She’s seventeen months old today, but she still nurses first thing in the morning and last thing before bedtime. For the next three days, she’s going to have to get by with plain bottled milk.
And Ben is going to have to adjust to watching her for more than a few hours at a time. Sweet man just planned out every meal she’ll eat for the next few days, something I don’t think I’ve ever seen him do.
I know they’ll be fine.
I realize that it is only delusions-of-grandeur to think that my absence will be hard on both of them. It’s a particular kind of hubris to imagine that I’m indispensable. Really, it’s probably going to be hardest on me. But it may also be hard on them. Worst-case scenario is that neither of them gets any sleep for 48 hours or so. They’ll still survive.
Maybe my fears of leaving are just compensating for that other part of me that is looking forward to seeing old friends at this conference. (Honestly, it’s more like old acquaintances, but still, it may be fun.) I’m going to a party on Friday night AND Saturday night. They may not be great parties, but at the very least, I’m going to have adult conversations and stay out past 7pm. I’m looking forward to this, and I’m feeling guilty for looking forward to it, and I know that I’ll probably spend parts of both parties wishing that I were home with Sophie and Ben. Thus is motherhood.