Little Chick is spending a few days at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, his first solo visit and stay, giving us the opportunity to catch up on jobs, uninterrupted, and get some much-needed rest. We can enjoy some peace and quiet.
But it is silent. And the silence is deafening.
Being child-free for a whole weekend sounded magical. Honestly, I’ve hated it. I also feel guilty for wanting it; after all, we waited years to be parents. Then I feel guilty that I need this time. I’ve been pleasingly resilient over the past twelve months, but I can feel that things are not as robust as they should be, I’m not as robust as Little Chick and the Other Mrs Reed Warbler need me to be.
I’ve needed a break for a while. While I do get full days when Little Chick is at nursery, I needed to feel that I could properly switch off, relatively guilt-free. This new to parenthood, I didn’t expect to feel entirely guilt-free at a weekend without parental responsibilities, but I didn’t think I would feel so bad. Or miss him so much.
I’ve had time without Little Chick, notably my trip to Brazil, but I was occupied and busy. I barely had time to miss him. I was also in a new unfamiliar and exciting environment. Now I am at home and I expect to see him. Seeing his room makes me sad; it’s almost like I’m grieving. It’s weird. Strangest of all is the absence of laughter, music, requests for more snacks and drinks. It’s eerily quiet.
I knew my life would change beyond recognition when we adopted, but this is not what I expected. I didn’t think I could love him or miss him as much as I do. My body aches. This is a stark reminder of how his birth family must feel. It is too much. I need the noise. I need Little Chick.