I got to play with Joss this whole weekend. I usually don’t get to see her during the week except a few hours collectively. And usually she’s just getting up or going to sleep. Or I’m fixing her diaper (yeah, because it’s broke) or something in the middle of the night and I’m not at my best and I can’t really be social with her since we’re trying to make her actually sleep through the night.
So, we woke up early yesterday. Or rather, she woke me up early yesterday. And we hung out while mom finally got some sleep. And then we hung out this morning (and missed church) a few short (too few short) hours after she inexplicably woke up and wouldn’t go back to sleep.
This afternoon, as her sleep time was nearing, I realized that I would need to leave to run an errand before the world shut down for Sunday afternoon. As I put on my coat, she recognized that version of me. It’s the daddy who’s leaving and won’t be back for the whole day. It’s the daddy that, honestly, I know that I need to be but I don’t want to be.
She started crying. Severely. Her face turned beet-red. She turned around to see me again and again as I tried to reassure her that I wasn’t gone yet and that mommy was there for her. She settled down and reestablished herself with mom. I washed up (man, it really, really tears me up to leave her. Literally.) and left.
I came back in about twenty minutes with a hope bursting in my heart. I would only have another twenty minutes or so with her, but they would gain some significance for me. She’s becoming daddy’s little girl, all the more precious because of what little awake time we spend together (her mother is far and away her favorite person. But I still like the recognition and appreciation of these fleeting moments from the moment I enter the door and her little head dramatically turns my direction and she flashes that gorgeous little smile of hers).
But, yeah, she couldn’t care less. We hung out. She was on my arm and just chilling with me. She went to bed. All nonchalant like a little girl who was more than ready to go to bed.
And as she was passing into that great threshold into the deep caverns of sleep, she gazed at me and burst out her smile for one last appearance.