Yesterday S left for South Africa and will be away for 8 weeks. It’s the longest time we’ve been apart in 12 years. He gets back the day before little T’s 2nd birthday, which feels forever away at the moment. Between now and then is Valentine’s Day, our ‘day-we-started-dating’ anniversary, my 20 week scan and my first appointment with the obstetrician.
Last night I tracked his flight from Heathrow to Cape Town. While me and T were eating dinner it was over France. When I put little T to bed it was over the Mediterranean. When I went to bed it was crossing the border between Algeria and Niger. When I changed little T’s nappy in the night it was off the coast of Namibia. Then this morning I woke up to a text from S saying he’d arrived at the apartment safe and sound.
It was comforting to be able to picture where his plane was while we were doing our normal evening routine (well except the time when it disappeared from the tracker in Algerian air space).
Yesterday was harder than I thought it would be. While we were waiting for the car to arrive to take him to the airport, we had one last cuddle on the sofa while little T played with his toys. I tried so hard not to cry but I couldn’t help it. Then it broke my heart to see him play with little T for the last time until April. Since he left I’ve been feeling really down. Seeing his stuff everywhere it seems as though he’s just away for a night or two, it feels like he should be coming back soon.
It reminds me of the day after our wedding. Obviously that is always going to be a massive comedown after one of the biggest days of your life. But we stupidly decided to stay a second night in our reception hotel before heading off on our honeymoon. So we spent the day after our wedding walking through empty rooms and gardens that the day before had been filled with all our family and friends. It was the most depressing experience.
Although I’ve got little T with me, it feels so lonely. A huge part of our family is missing. I feel like everywhere I look I see emptiness, the final piece of our puzzle conspicuous by his absence.
On Monday we’ll be going to stay with my parents. As T normally goes there all day Tuesday and Thursday while I’m at work, it made sense for us to stay there during the week and just come home Friday to Monday.
I’m sure I’ll be fine in a few days when we adjust to our new normal. I’ll still be counting down the sleeps until I see him again, but I’ll be getting on with life in the meantime. 55 sleeps to go.
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