Do you ever get lonely? someone asked me this past weekend. No, I'm good at being alone I said knowing the one part was true, the other not. I've always been good at being alone, it doesn't scare me and I'm never bored. I always find nice things to do, reading a book, listening to music, writing, when I can't (or don't have to) do work-related tasks, most of which I also enjoy or tolerate. But if lonely is defined as feeling alone then it's not true that I don't get lonely. I feel alone the minute Zoe leaves my presence. It feels like part of my body is missing. At first it is okay and I enjoy the freedom of going somewhere at an adult pace, I enjoy an undisturbed adult conversation with people. And I enjoy my research work. But when I haven't seen her for days, I start feeling it. The missing body part. I hear her voice in my head "Moar" and I hear her laugh when I tickle her. I see her cheeky smile and her chubby hands. I feel her hair when I rub it before she sleeps and I feel her hug while she tells me that I'm the best mom there is. All while I know she is having fun and hugging her dad just as much, wherever she is now. And I know that he must feel the same when Zoe is with me. But I still feel that something essential is missing.
I have been too busy to unpack since I got home Wednesday evening, handing over Zoe in the same go. Or perhaps it is just too hard to do because the clothes in the suitcase will just remind me too much of the missing part. Perhaps I'll unpack on Sunday when she comes back. She will enjoy helping me.