I have never been away from my daughter more than four days. Now as I head away from balmy Los Angeles to frigid Montreal, I am reminded of why. I feel like I’m missing my right arm. I say right arm because I do most things with my right hand, the left being there for, well aesthetic balance mostly, I suppose. Even as excited as I am to start a new job in a startlingly beautiful city, the thought of being without my right arm—my Maggie—makes my stomach hurt. I’m sure my husband’s stomach is tied in knots as well, but for completely different reasons. He’s got a cheeky, energetic three year old to feed, keep safe and reason with.
Not every kid has two parents, but I do understand why it is considered the ideal situation. Actually, forget two parents, it really does take a village to raise a child. Maggie’s got some serious Daddy-bonding time coming up, and they’re both excited about it, but still, we’ve called in reinforcements. Grammie is in route to take up temporary residence, Poppy is slotted for weekends, and Grandma, who lives two minutes away, is always on-call.
Knowing that our support system is firmly in place for my time away makes me breathe a huge sigh of relief. It won’t make me miss my right arm any less, but it comforts me to know that Maggie will be surrounded by as much love as I can give her. Hopefully, with the exception of fewer brushed teeth and some mismatched outfits, she’ll be none the worse for wear.
© Kellie Martin, 2010