Today, for the first time since our little one was born I am travelling abroad for work, meaning I won’t see him for the next 5 days. I know that for many dads out there travelling and being away is something they do a lot (for example my brother was in the army when his girls were small and so spend months away from them in their first years) but for me this is quite a rare occurrence… And I am finding it rather difficult to handle.*
Over the last few weeks he has really started growing fast, getting chubbier and chubbier and really developing in terms of speech**, reactivity and head control every day. In fact, this last few days I could swear he has grown visibly every day when I get home from work. At this rate I am concerned that I won’t recognise him when I get home!
But, even more worrying is the fear that he might not recognise me!
I think that my relationship with my son is pretty good. Of course he doesn’t see nearly as much of me as he does his mum (or Gran, who lives mercifully nearby!) but I try to make sure I have a good play with him every night (possibly to the detriment of us getting into a sensible sleep routine at times!) and I am pretty sure he recognises his daddy – he certainly smiles a lot at me and LOVES grabbing and pulling my beard.
But will he know who I am when I get home next week?
Using my rudimentary maths skills*** and the calculator on my iPhone I have worked out that when I get home, the 5 days I will have been away will account for just under 6% of his life so far. That seems like quite a lot! Doesn’t it?
I am 35, and so 6% of my life is 2.1 years, which would be a long time to have no contact with someone I loved!
* Just to caveat this blog: I think my emotional reaction to being away has been compounded by the fact that a) I am writing this on an Easyjet flight, and I hate flying so am rather anxious and emotional as it is, and b) it is 7.15 in the morning now, and I have been up since 3.45am so am rather sleep deprived.
** By speech I mean high pitch squealing, googahgoogah-ing and general vocalising of all sorts. I think it is becoming evident that he is going to be a singer in a rock band 🙂 That early exposure to Nirvana is paying off
*** Trying to work out how to do these percentages literally took me about 20 minutes. Scary how quickly and comprehensively I have forgotten all the maths I learned at school. I would have no hope with the recent controversial SATS tests!