Absence

Today was my mother in law’s day to watch Nellie while I worked and while Josh slept (he works nights for the time being). She called me yesterday to let me know that her daughter had invited her and my father in law over to their house to celebrate her husband’s birthday, and that they were going to eat around 5:00. The drive to my sister in law’s house takes about 45 minutes, so I wouldn’t be off work in time to pick up Nellie. My mother in law wanted to know if it was okay if they took Nellie with them, and brought her back by the apartment when they were done.

I said of course, have a good time.

I got home and spent a little time with my husband, and once he had gone I informed my Twitter friends not to expect to hear from me for the duration of the evening. I finally got my hands on a copy of Dead in the Family and was going to spend any spare time I had reading it as I’d been eyeballing it all day at work after it was given to me. I settled in on the couch and began to read. I devoured the first twenty pages relatively quickly when I felt compelled to put the book down.

I looked around my apartment. It was silent, save for the whir and hum of the dishwasher. It’s nothing new for me to be sitting in silence in the daytime in our home; generally on weekends when Josh works I’ll put Nellie down to nap and just chill out while they are both asleep. But this time it was different…. This was the first time since my daughter was born that I was utterly alone in this apartment without the presence of my husband or daughter.

I was inspired by Sookie’s love for coffee, and brewed myself a pot. I settled back onto the couch, opened my book and immediately put it back down. I wrapped my hands around my mug and gazed around thoughtfully. I realized that in both my husband and daughter’s absence, this place feels completely different. It sounds completely different. Even though they are quiet while asleep, their presence buzzes; they are there, and I can tell it. It’s something that I never noticed until they weren’t around. I feel Nellie’s absence specifically; I’m used to Josh not being here in the evenings but not her. She is always here with me.

It’s not a bad thing, perse but it’s definitely.. Off. Something is amiss in the apartment.. The chubby, giggling, curly-headed essence of my daughter is not here and it feels weird.

I felt compelled to blog about this while the feeling was still fresh in my mind. Even now as I type, I am listening to and feeling the empty space that she normally occupies.

Needless to say, while I enjoy the spare time to relax and not worry about tending to someone else’s needs, I am thoroughly looking forward to when she is returned to me and I can give her a big hug, and a kiss.

She has filled an absence that I never even knew was there..