You might have read the story, but we’re moving to Chicago in a month (read it here if you haven’t read it yet and are curious why). Which means my wife and I had to go out there a few weeks ago to find a place to live. Which also means, we had to leave Rory at home with her grandma (because house hunting with a 3 year old in tow sounds harmful to anyone’s health, including her’s).
If you read my story, you know that Chicago is a big deal to us. It’s where we fell in love. Every year we talk about moving back there. You may hate Chicago, but to us, Chicago is — to quote the late, great Frank Sinatra — our kind of town.
I hadn’t been back there for an extended stay (we drove through a few years ago on the way to somewhere else, but that doesn’t count) since we moved away 7 years ago. Not only that, I haven’t been on an extended trip anywhere with my wife alone since Rory was born, almost 4 years ago.
Needless to say, I was extremely excited to go on this trip. To fly out with my lovely wife to the greatest city in the world (yes, I’m sticking to that) to hang out with old friends, new friends, and find our new home. I was kid-in-candy-store ecstatic to go on that trip. Counting the days. Building it up to myself. Gushing to friends about it. Alex and I both were.
And then came the day before…
I was depressed.
Like, SUPER low.
I couldn’t help but prematurely start to miss Rory. Like, reallyreally miss her.
Alex and I were packing our clothes the day before our flight. We were both moving around slow. Shoulders slumped. Not saying anything. We both had that far-away look in our eyes.
I looked at her, paused, and then said shit, are you feeling this too?
Yeah! It’s horrible!
Ugh… The entire trip, we were having a good time and loving it, but we both carried a bit of heaviness and anxiety from missing our little drunken sorority girl (it’s how I’ve scientifically labelled this stage of her life at age three and it totally fits — she regularly slurs her speech, falls down a lot, has been known to wet the bed and vomit unexpectedly, strips naked at random moments, throws violent temper tantrums, and smothers us with kisses, all of which can and has happened in the same night).
We’d Facetime with her at night. After a day or so, she started openly missing us. She’d say are you guys going to pick me up right now?
No, honey… 4 more sleeps…
Her blue eyes would fill with tears and she’d start sobbing.
At least she missed us. I guess that’s a good thing.
Kids… Do they ruin us? Yes. They sure do.
But missing her that deeply showed me a love that was so intense it physically hurt.
It didn’t stop me from having a Chicago hot dog, though. Because for these last 7 years, I’ve longed for one of those too.