Today, I will be staying away from home without R.
For some reason, this feels like a big moment. A milestone, if you will. It’s not as though we haven’t spent nights apart before; she quite often stays over at my mum’s so we can have a night out, or just so she can stay over with her Granny. It’s not as though she’s not going to be in safe hands. She’ll be with her dad. It’s not as if C hasn’t put her to bed many times before and bathed her and cooked her dinner. it’s not as though he doesn’t collect her from nursery school all the time. While I do tend to do the morning getting up, breakfast, getting dressed and so on, it’s not as though he’s never done it.
There is no reason to worry. And I’m not worried as such. But I do feel weird. Weird because R will be going to sleep in her own bed without me in the house. Weird because when she wakes up in the middle of the night, I will not hear her and go through to her. Weird because when she wakes up in the morning when the light manages to peak under the black-out lining on the curtains, it will be C getting her to greet her, not me.
I also feel quite excited about the prospect of a child-free train journey. The prospect of reading the paper and a book, of playing multi-player brain training games with my mum and sister, of maybe drinking a beer in the hotel bar. And then I feel a little guilty, because the purpose of our journey is to scatter my father’s ashes, not have a fun night away.