30 hours away


i flew to kansas city to see farah's play thursday, and was gone for 30 hrs (and 39 minutes because my flight was late). this was my first time ever away from my baby, so i decided to do a journal in real time while i was away. here it is, long but left unedited:

wed 6:00 p.m. -- trying to pack, cranky and overtired. oh yeah, it's called sad and anxious.
7:30 p.m. -- she's sooo adorable, why am i leaving again?
10:00 p.m. -- so tired, headache. too bad, messy kitchen, i'm going to bed! notes for papa on door (flight info, playgroup).
10:30 p.m. -- bed. her peaceful sleeping face, oddly contorted arm poses. missing her already.
thurs 6:00 a.m. -- rush rush oh, there she is sleeping. so cute.
7:49 a.m. -- just sat down on plane. she was so sweet: "mama go bye-bye. airport! eva go a papa." too hurried to cry but it was sad to turn around and see them getting back in the car to leave.
9:40 a.m. -- walking through houston airport, arrived at gate where we left for mexico with eva and family, then passed gate where larry and i sat on way home from first mexico trip when pregnant feet aching, then passed flashing light art display i used to entertain eva on way to alaska. funny how i don't remember any pre-eva times i've spent in IAH.
10:30 a.m. -- taxiing to leave houston. absorbed in second sudoku until i noticed an unfamiliar state -- total relaxation! nothing on a "to do" list, not in a hurry, not concentrating on two or seven things at once. wow. fun.
11:57 talked to larry, eva's fine of course. pulling clothes out of the bottom drawer, wearing tiny hat. has been asking "find mama?" but content. said "hi mama" to me, what a tiny elusive voice. i barely heard her and she was gone.
1:10 p.m. -- arrive at farah's feeling peaceful. know eva's fine. feeling connected to her...
2:15 p.m. -- lovely lunch, glass of wine, no need to distract unruly dining companion or rush out. ahh!
3:35 p.m. -- spent half hour picking out cool fabrics for a custom designer handbag. sheesh, take the kid away from the mama and she goes crazy acting like a Regular Person (okay, the kind of Regular Person who buys handbags, anyway). how easily we fall into past roles, even though it feels sad/anxious in bursts every 45 minutes or so...
4:42 p.m. -- have urge to show photo of eva to passing stranger while shopping in anthropologie.
5:58 p.m. -- dressed and ready to go to theater. pumped milk (yow.) sad, because that's eva's milk; even sadder to pour 5 oz down the drain (when it took me three long tries to get 3 oz total at home!)
6:15 p.m. -- talked to eva: "hi mama. mama go airplane, fly 'way. hi mama!" so sweet. i'm not sad, but hearing her makes me wonder why i should ever want to be anywhere but next to her for her whole life. first time in separate cities! twice our longest separation already (previously about 5 hours)...
7:20 p.m. -- had a tour backstage earlier. just finished dinner, yum! table for one, "i understand you're ms. alvin's guest? anything at all you need, let us know."
9:01 p.m. -- intermission, just finished dessert. wine and coffee at the same meal! show is great, farah nearly knocked everyone over with one particular big number. i so rarely get to see her perform. what a treat. house manager stopped by for third time to check on me, boy am i special (by association). i wonder if eva is asleep yet, maybe not since she had a late nap...?
9:57 p.m. -- show's over, wow. the table next to me (who was seeking out the KU basketball score at intermission) got very excited to learn that i know farah, then the whole surrounding area began to rave. cute. the show's theme of marriage and family and love has me feeling all lovey about my two back home.
10:22 p.m. -- text message from larry. said sleep took a while but all is well. driving to go get a drink with farah and costar todd.
fri 12:17 a.m. -- chatted with farah for five more minutes wait one more thing no really i need to go to sleep now for real, just like always. guy hit on me at the bar, i was out of practice at the polite brush-off, but when asked what i did and i replied "i have a baby", that was effective. todd told a story about the desolation of driving across wyoming from jackson hole to laramie that i knew larry would appreciate. are cocktail waitresses all wearing wacky 70s gogo stuff these days, or just in kansas? i wouldn't know. about to pump and call larry, then sleep.
12:39 a.m. -- just talked to larry, he said eva did great all day and seemed to understand somewhat, saying "mama fly airplane" -- and was actually less anxious than when i go to the store without her. seemed confused by her first experience with expressed breastmilk (as in, wait, there's an option of having this in a cup?) i told larry being away makes me feel even more connected to both of them. he said "oh wait, you mean absence really does make the heart grow fonder?" okay, jerky, way to cheese up my sentimental moment. :)
8:22 a.m. -- ahhh....... i slept 6 hours without opening my eyes, and was dreaming about creme brulee when orbitz called my phone and woke me up at 7:20 (i could have had 7 straight hrs, unprecedented!) more pumping, 12 oz total down the sink.
9:49 a.m. -- at airport. talked about religion, politics, and literature with farah on the way here, how refreshing to have a grown-up conversation! (even better than the sleep.) just paid $5.49 for a gift for eva, a yellow sunflower magnet with two As ("kansas"), her favorite letter.
10:01 a.m. -- just talked to eva/larry. i was literally reaching for my phone when it rang -- it was eva! she called me all by herself, then hung up. i called back, larry said she was playing with his phone then handed it to him saying "broken?" i guess she slept well until almost 6 then wanted milk (her usual hour for that) and they had a more rough time for a while. now she's playing on the wagon.
12:20 p.m. -- stopover in dallas, i chat with a lovely federal investigator who re-investigates death penalty cases. her insight into how broken the system is is both fascinating and jaw-droppingly alarming.
1:55 p.m. -- landed in austin! from seat 28D, i curse the people in front of me, slowly gathering their things, keeping me from my babylove.
2:05 p.m. -- there they are, i see her! we run. i clutch her to me and cry, then i cry and laugh. she seems dazed, up early and no nap but i wonder briefly if she's confused or upset? in ten minutes, she's babbling away telling me of kites and knee booboos (a hilarious eva joke: "peek-a-booboo!") after approximately 37 minutes, it's like i'd never left (i a good way).

so, we all survived. larry and eva got to bond, i got a break. i did everything i never get to do: nice lunch, shopping, boutiques, theater, drinks, uninterrupted conversation... and best of all i got to do all that with my friend of 13 years. i'm thrilled, even if i now still have to face that messy kitchen.

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