11/25/2016 to 11/28/2016
11/28/2016 to 11/29/2016

My First Night Away

During pregnancy, childbirth and beyond, mothers are flooded with hormones. I’m sure most of you either knew that…or are finding that out now.

Some of these hormones are all about keeping the family together and protecting it.

Dads don’t really get that chemical rush.

However, recently, I felt something similar, as I spent my first night away from my wife and child.

Five weeks after Hava was born, one of my closest friends had his bachelor party in Atlantic City, NJ, just a 3-4 hour drive from suburban Washington, DC.  

Even though I am a groomsman in his upcoming wedding, I debated participating in the party.  Would I feel comfortable leaving my wife and daughter home alone while I was having fun?  Could I handle being away from home?

After hours of discussion and planning, we reached a perfect solution:  I would go up for one of the two nights and one of Marisa’s best friends would come visit that weekend, ensuring she wouldn’t be alone.

Honestly, I debated going, even while I was in the car driving up.  But my wife had given me this opportunity to celebrate my friend’s bachelordom and I decided to enjoy it.

The night wasn’t bad at all.  I was the slightly drunk guy gushing about his baby daughter all over town, retelling stories of new fatherhood and showing my friends the latest Hava pictures my wife was emailing me.

Truth be told, I was distracted much of the night and into the wee hours.  I was roaming the town without a baby to burp or diaper to change.  It was beautiful.

I crawled into bed around 3:30am, a relatively early night for a bachelor party, but cut me some slack, I hadn’t slept in over a month!

When I woke up the next morning, something had changed.

The exuberance of the party was replaced by a strong desire to go home and be with my family.

I quietly cursed my co-partiers for taking showers at the hotel, which added time before I could drive home.  At breakfast, I almost had an anxiety attack while the kitchen took 40 minutes to make a few three-egg omelets.  I drove home safely, but aggressively, taking issue with road work, lane closures and toll booths, which increased the time between me and my girls.

Nothing else mattered, besides getting home and being with my family.

I travel a lot for work (but not since Hava was born) and want to get home from each trip as soon as possible, but that’s not the feeling I had that morning.

That Sunday morning, I felt my brain wiring change.  The party was over…and may never resume the same way again.
I needed to return to my family.

That’s where I belonged.

And when I got home, I kissed my wife, scooped up my daughter and felt the anxiety drip away, replaced with warmth and love.