So last weekend was Alex and Larry's wedding up in the Cape. Since the wedding plans got underway, Mike and I have been debating whether or not to take Ella with us. We considered bringing our babysitters (A.K.A my parents) along with us and making a real vacation of it, but we ultimately decided that we wanted to just be on our own for once. Both Mike and I have been away from her for several days before, but we haven't had the opportunity to do that together, so we were really looking forward to it.
The funny thing was that it was strange to both be away from her and not have any grading left to do. When we arrived on Saturday, it was raining, and we had some down time before the party started. In my normal life, I never, ever feel moments of boredom, and I don't really know how to deal with having nothing to do, so I had my first little itch of "I kind of wish Ella was here," mostly because I wasn't quite sure what to do with myself.
However, once the parties got underway, I was glad to have the freedom to enjoy myself. Our other friends who had brought their children had to play the, "Which one of us is going to go to bed now?" game, and we were glad to not play it.
At one point, one of our friends who had left her ten-month-old for the first time came up to me and said, "Do you miss Ella?" implying that she was having a really hard time without her little girl. And, I realized how much things change in just a couple of years. Before Ella was a year, it would have been nearly impossible for me to leave her. I would have worried about her nighttime routine, her napping, her eating, everything. Now, she really is just a kid, and if she stays up late, then she stays up late. If she eats cotton candy and lollipops for two days, she'll survive. I so understand how my girlfriend felt, and I'm so glad to be past that feeling.
I did slip away around ten on Friday night to call my parents and see how bedtime went. My father answered the phone and said, "We're just pulling in the driveway!" I assumed she was asleep in the car, but my father said, "Nope! She's wide awake. Want to talk to her?" I couldn't believe it. I had never spoken to her at 10 PM in the three years she's been alive. They had just arrived home from my niece's dance recital and she couldn't have been more excited about all the things she'd seen. It was shocking, and heart-wrenching, and wonderful to know she was having a great time without us. A while later, my father sent me this picture of her evening at Izzy's recital.
Me: El, did you miss me?
Me: Didn't you ever think, 'Gee, I wish Mom was here?'
Ella: No, I never think that.
And even though her reaction was super harsh, I was glad to know that she is okay without us. She is her own little person now, and she doesn't always need Mommy and Daddy around to have a good time. Though, being missed just a little bit wouldn't be so terrible.
Congratulations to Alex and Larry, and thanks so much to my parents for putting that smile on my little girl's face.