Sunday, 21 September 2014
I can count on one hand the number of times I have had a night away from Cooper since she was born. That's 7 years!!! 7 years of being home by bedtime, 7 years of not going out, 7 years of a jail sentence it felt like sometimes. Her dad and I are together, which is rare these days, so she doesn't "go to dad's" every other day, and although I am extremely grateful for that......I'm almost jealous that I don't have that option. Sounds horrible right? But listen..
She doesn't have grandparents she can go see on the weekends. She has only ever slept in her own bed, or been with mom or dad. We've tried sleepovers, and it would never work. We always got that call at 10pm, "Can I come home now?" So not only was she missing out on fun times, staying up late, being a kid, I've been missing out on ME time. Being able to just do whatever I want, sleep in, go out, watch a rated R movie without having to worry if she's going to come downstairs.
Some people I know, have their weekends "off". They have time for themselves to take a class, go for a run, go party it up, rest, work an extra job, whatever it is they want to do. And at times I thought how lucky they were. It must be so much easier to parent that way. You have time to refresh yourself, to better yourself.
So when Cooper got invited to a sleepover at the beginning of summer I was shocked that she was excited to go. I talked to her about trying her best to just have a good time, dropped her off and fully expected a phone call to come get her. I stayed in that night and waited and waited, but that call never came. She loved it! She had the best time just being a kid. The end of summer came and another sleepover invite and Cooper was beyond excited. YEA! Things are changing! She's growing up! This time, I would make it a night to remember, this time I would go out on the town and party it up like I used to. I dropped her off and started the night by going out to do a little ME shopping. No distractions, no dragging feet, no begging me to look at toys......but after about an hour I realized I wasn't shopping at all, it was more like... wandering. I was out and about and could do anything I wanted, but I felt alone and was doing it all for no reason at all. The night went on and with the world at my fingertips, I stayed in and fell asleep early.
I woke up around 7 and tried to go back to sleep. I couldn't. I got out of bed and looked in Cooper's room. It felt so.... empty. I felt empty. She should be here. I missed her badly and now I'm trying to find things to do to pass the time until I get to pick her up. Even after being away only a few hours, seeing her lit this spark in me and gave me such a rush of love and happiness. I hugged her and never wanted to let her go.
So now, as we grow together I realize I AM one of the lucky ones. I am the one who doesn't want to live a second without her, and I really don't have to. What I want to do in my free time, is be with her. Time away is good for everyone, and as she gets older and more independent, that time away will be more and more. So while I have her, I'm going to enjoy every frickin minute of it.