Tonight I got back from two days and two nights in Telluride--without my baby girl. I went for work and took my mom, and we had a marvelous time: driving through Colorado; eating while gazing at the giant, silent peaks that surround the tiny mountain town; taking the world's very best Gondola ride; swimming in the hotel pool; and talking, talking, talking.
But I missed my Hadley. Achingly so. And it seems that every baby girl under the age of two was in Telluride this weekend. I had to talk to every single one of their moms, so that they'd have to stop and I could say, "I have a 15-month-old at home." And every single one of the moms smiled in a way that told me that they knew how hard it is for a mom to leave her heart at home, where it roams around and eats Goldfish and watches Elmo.
When we got home this evening, I rushed in to grab and squeeze Hadley. She was nonchalant about it all, as if she knew that eventually, I'd be back. She and her daddy had a fun weekend, I could tell. She gave one little inkling that suggested she had missed me: After her bath tonight, she gave me a long, happy hug and patted my back, as if to say, "Welcome home, Mama. Welcome home." I rocked her and put her to bed, and now I want to sneak in there and hold her for a few more minutes.
When Jason leaves on a trip, we say, "Daddies always come home." I said to her when I was leaving, "I'll see you in two days. Mommies always come home." Of course, that's not entirely true. Sometimes the world is a terrible, awful place, where mommies and daddies don't come home. That's a fact I knew but never felt until I had a baby.
But a mama can't just sit at home for fear of the world. It's a tough balance. I have plenty of wanderlust. I wish that Jason and I had made it back to Europe before Hadley was born; I'd like to see Israel, Bali, Bora Bora, Tahiti, Australia, Kenya--even Canada, for heaven's sake. For all of this eagerness to go, I feel a much stronger desire to stay. That's kind of new for me.
It's good. Really, really good.
Telluride was wonderful. Beautiful. Restful. But not so beautiful as holding Hadley--in her blueberry-stained T-shirt--when I got home.
And before too long, Hadley will have wanderlust, too. She'll ask about Paris or Montreal or... Idaho, and I hope we'll cultivate in her a desire to go, ...just as long as she takes her mama along for the ride, too.