What a week. I made it home from the conference, getting up at 4.00am on an unbelievably frigid Canadian morning to get the earliest flight out of Calgary back to SF. I When I walked into the house Geekygirl was all smiles. Geekybaby looked at me curiously, and when I took him into my arms he leaned back to study my face, then reached out and gently touched it, and broke out into his huge beam. I could see him thinking "It's you, lovely person. I'm so glad to see you again. I'd just got so fond of you, and then you vanished!"
Geekygirl is of course able to use words to express the same emotions, and was indeed so thrilled to see me. I was just so happy to walk back into our home. Geekygirl is able to express more complex emotions too, of course. We have a little exchange we perform where she shouts "Mummy" and I reply "Geekygirl" (well using her actual name) and she retorts "I LOVE you". Then I say "I love YOU". In the car on the way home from daycare last Monday I heard a variation on this:
"Mummy" she says. I respond as usual.
"I DON'T love you". She says.
I say "I'm sad to hear that sweetie, I love you".
Then I hear "Mummy";
I reply with her name again and she says "I don't LIKE you".
I pause and reply "Why don't you like me sweetie?"
And she says ephatically "I don't like when you go on business trips."
In the week since we returned, I was instantly swept up in preparing for an event at work where we had a bunch of local high school kids come to the company to hear from us about career options in Biotech. It was a great day, actually, but a lot of work to prepare. Then ironically, the very next day I was informed that our company was having a layoff. I was not directly affected, but my direct report, someone I have worked with for a long time and am very fond of, was. So for the first time I had to be the harbinger of that sad news. This happened on Friday.
On top of all this, although Geekybaby has finally and miraculously started to sleep a solid twelve hours at night, Geekygirl, my deep sleeper, has started to get up in the night and come into our room. She says that she is scared, and it seems that the 'monsters' that twitch and peek from the lighted windows of the houses she can glimpse across the street have returned with a vengeance. No doubt mummy being gone for a week has stirred some feelings of insecurity. At breakfast on Saturday, talking about fears in the middle of the night we established this.
"Mummy, I am scared that when I wake up you won't be there. It scares me when you go away, because I love you so much."
I can only hope that this wonderful ability to express her feelings will stay with her. And since I don't want to make false promises, all I can hope is that she will come to learn that Mummy might go away every once in a while, but that she will always, always come back. With presents.