The second time we hired a babysitter (which just so happened to be our full-time sitter's daughter - and one of the sweetest girls I've ever met) and went to see a friend of Jake's comedy routine when Tay was six months old. I was nervous, of course, being that we were leaving our baby in the hands of a teenager, but we were able to enjoy a quiet sushi dinner and some much-needed laughs with friends. And at the end of the night, I was more than eager to return home to our sleeping baby.
The third time was just a few weeks ago when I ventured out for ladies' night with a few of my closest friends. We had appetizers and cocktails at the new rooftop bar followed by German beer and homemade bretzels (which were to die for) at a German pub topped off with a nightcap at one of our favorite rooftop patios. It was the first time I had been out with just the girls since 2012 - and it was long overdue. But again, I was anxious to get home to see my girl.
This weekend marked the fourth occasion that I have been away from our tot. It also marked the first time I have ever been away from her overnight. It was a long and busy weekend that consisted of me attending a wedding in my hometown then leaving Taylor with my parents overnight to attend a reception of a different wedding in a town about an hour away. Trust me when I say that it took everything I had to leave her. Had the couple not been two of our closest friends and flown to Jamaica to attend our wedding, I honestly don't know if I would've gone. But, I did and it was one of the absolute best times that I've had in years.
Casey & Kristin - your wedding reception was the bomb and we had an awesome time
Needless to say, I miss her. I will probably even take the route to her babysitter's house after work strictly out of habit. And I know that our house just won't feel the same tonight without her there. But, as many of my friends reminded me this weekend, the fact that I miss her so is indicative as to the type of mother that I am. What a sweet perspective on an otherwise lousy situation!
I know that our time apart is necessary. Taylor needs to spend time with other people that love her as much as we do. And as a mother, I need to learn to let her do things on her own. This is the first of many experiences to come in which I won't always be there to protect her. Being a mother is a struggle and, most days, I just try to keep my head above water.
But I love it. I love how it has changed me for the better. And I love how it continues to challenge me (even if it stresses me to my core and makes me worry more than I ever thought possible).
And nothing will ever compare to the sight of her sweet smile first thing in the morning (even if it's accompanied by a hangover).
She makes my world go round.