What a couple of weeks. Last Monday, I caught a 5:00 a.m. flight out to San Francisco to spend a few days with the crew at work. I spent four full days out there and then caught an 11:00 p.m. flight to Charlotte on Thursday. Dad picked me up at 6:30 a.m. at the airport, and I went to his house, to which M and Lennie had driven while I was out of town. From the time she saw me, Lennie very desparately wanted to be with me. I’d head upstairs to grab something and she’d shuffle over to the gate and dolefully cry “Daddeeeee, Daddeeeee” up the stairs until I came back. It was heartbreaking because I felt that she now maybe worries that when I leave, I’m not coming back, but it was also validating and nice.
While we were there, M got sick (a stomach bug that’s going around Knoxville). We came home Sunday afternoon, and I spent all night Sunday night throwing up and spent most of Monday in bed. On Tuesday, I got back to work. Periodically, Lennie would come to my office door and bang on it (as she sometimes has for months now), but now she adds to the equation her doleful “Daddeeeee,” which it’s just impossible to resist. To top if all off, she’s gotten sick as well. She had a high (103+) fever on Tuesday night and has been up and down for the past couple of days. She threw up a couple of times on Wednesday and was droopy for much of yesterday but appears perhaps to be coming out of it now. While she was sick, there were times during which I was her sole comfort, though. A couple of days this week, she’s lain prone on me for a half hour or more at a time in the middle of the day, and she’s been clinging to me (and recoiling from M) in a weird reversal of the usual routine.
Now M gets a glimpse of what it’s been like for me for 18 months, though really, it’s worse for her because, while I’ve been sort of resigned to it and expected nothing different, it’s a new change for her. I’ve been shunned and have found being occasionally wanted to be a nice surprise; she’s been wanted and is now being shunned. I’m sure that once Lennie figures out that I’m actually not leaving for good or anything, her disposition toward M and me will shift back closer to its normal ratio. In the mean time, it’s nice (if not terribly pragmatic from the standpoint of having to actually get work done) to be wanted.