Thursday, November 18, 2010

What It's Like Without Her

So here we are, 9 and a half days into our 13 day separation from Lisel. It's the longest time I've ever been away from my daughter.  And we still have 4 days to go.

In some ways, it's been a nice vacation from parenthood. I had almost forgotten what the old road life was. So much downtime!  I mean, you're free to do whatever you choose for like 23 1/2 hours a day. Sleep, play music, watch TV, play video games -- granted sometimes you're confined to a bus, but still, you have this seemingly limitless expanse of time to work with. Considering that in my new kid-friendly daily life I'm often scrambling to carve out an half hour for exercise and an half hour for returning emails -- well, this road life seems positively decadent.

I keep wondering what I did with all that pre-kid time!  I could have, should have, been so much more productive!  Taken advantage of the space and the freedom and the silence.

And there's the benefit of spending time alone with Dave.  Not that we don't normally spend every.waking. minute. together. But usually we're in logistical, parent, taking care of whatever business is at hand mode.  But for the last 9 days we've been able to be more like a couple.  It's like an extended date night, and I've always dug date night.

And there's the sleep.  And by sleep, I mean the sleeping in. We sleep until 9, sometimes 10 in the morning. We're back on slacker musician time and I can't complain about that.

All of the benefits stand in contrast to the obvious con though. Lisel isn't here to share our adventures.  Dave and I keep talking about this; about how her presence gives the road so much more dimension.  Free time is scarce when she's on the road but it's not like it's all drudgery and work.  It's filled with playtime and drawing and mischievous laughter and exploration and cuteness and hugs and the beauty of watching our child discover the world.  We wake up earlier, but we wake up to, and are often woken up by, a snuggly little girl.

We are never, ever bored.

And though Dave and I haven't had time to get totally bored on this trip, we have had moments where we've said everything we needed to say, and we've taken care of those things we wanted to do, which leaves us with...with not much to do or say.

I realize I miss Lisel the most when I wake up in the morning, and realize I've been dreaming about her all night. In my dreams I get to pick her up and hug her and just be with her. She's appeared every night since our third night out here. And it's always a bit hard to finally wake up and realize she's not here with me and won't be for a while.

In between the dreams and the gigs we've been keeping in touch with her using Facetime on our iphones, which is just a brilliant invention.  It requires a wi-fi connection, which is not always as easily accessible as one might think. Dave and I have ended up in some pretty hilarious spots -- in a bathroom at the Sellersville Theater, where we sang the ABC song so loud and so many times that the staff wondered what kind of party we were throwing in there.  In the lobby of a Philadelphia hotel (no wifi in the rooms, only in the lobby), where we ended up rolling on the floor while business people walked past. Hey, Lisel wanted mom and dad to roll around so we obliged!

The handy-dandy iphone

Without this nifty little invention, I think I'd be in a much tougher spot than I am now.  Being able to not only talk to our daughter but see her everyday, sometimes twice a day, is incredible.  (Facetime is awesome for an almost two year old because the camera can follow them around, rather than requiring that they sit still like say iChat would -- a near impossibility for a kid her age).

We're over the hump, and counting down the moments until we see her.  Until we do, I'll have to make due with digital images and dreams.


Joanna said...

Yay for Facetime!

Listening to you and the boys singing "Route 66" on my iPod as I read this. It came up just as I clicked on the link. The coincidence made me happy.

jBear said...

For the record... I'm still on "musician time" and i haven't played in a band in nearly 30 years!
Enjoy it while you can E!