Baba and Eryn at the Emirates counter in YYZ

Once in a blue moon the Hubby will have to travel for work. Over the past five years he’s been to Jamaica, Seattle, Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia — at most only for a month. Now for the next 6 weeks, he’ll be in Kuwait.

When we were first married, I’d mope for days before a departure, spend the night before in a right funk that culminated in tears, and then sent him off in the morning with more tears and a long, drawn out goodbye. More tears after every phone call during his trip and lots and lots of comfort food.

Over the years I’ve slowly adjusted. The trips aren’t too frequent, they’re not too far away and they’re never for very long. This time though, I’ll be alone with the baby for over a month (or longer), starting work in two weeks (dear God, no), and he’s traveling over 10,000km. I’m a little surprised I didn’t have a meltdown.

I’m looking forward to having some time to (hopefully) write more, having some “me” time and getting caught up on Torchwood and Grey’s. I’ll also have the car, which means more trips to friends’ houses, more play dates and more time at the Early Years’ Centre. Saying goodbye was easy — even with me continuously insisting on one more kiss from Mr. anti-display-of-public-affection.

Instead, Eryn broke my heart.

She might have known something was amiss. The past two days she’s been terribly clingy, sleeping poorly and calling for “Baba” all the time. At the airport she was quiet — not even waving to the two babies who were desperately trying to get her attention while we all stood in line.

Baba hugged and kissed her and waved to her while he went through security — but she just stared at him, sucking on the fringe from her toque. When he disappeared, she sighed and then asked to be put down. On the way to the car she stopped and looked at me. “Baba?”

Tears instantly stung my eyes. It was so innocent and I read far too much into it. She’s smart enough to know that we left Baba in the airport and that he certainly wasn’t in the car on the ride back home, and he wasn’t at home to help put her to bed, and he won’t be there to read to her in the morning. But she took it in stride and was apparently satisfied with the answer that Baba was on a plane.

The absence of her smile and hyperactivity whenever Baba is around just cut me.

Oh my poor baby.