It’s the same thing every time I leave. I have to kiss Peyton, my 8-month old daughter, goodbye and head off to catch my bus back home. I am a senior at the University of Maryland, so for the remainder of the semester Peyton’s father’s family agreed to take care of her while I focused on school. I hate having to leave her, partly because immediately after I miss her terribly, and partly because I wonder how my absence truly affects her.
I wonder if she gets angry with me when she see that I am gone. I wonder if she feels abandoned and alone, or if she resents me to not staying with her or even taking her with me. Her father’s family tells me that she is much happier when I am with her, so it must deeply affect her when I am not there.
I wish that I she could understand that its only for a little while and that it hurts me to leave her. Taking care of a baby is a lot of work; I know a lot of moms who can juggle kids, studying, and going to class, but, I was not confident enough in myself to try it being that it was my first semester back after a brief hiatus so I accepted their offer to keep her and decided I would visit on weekends.
Every day I thought about her, occasionally flipping through the 734 pictures of her in my phone. I never wanted for her to live anywhere but with me, but I had to do this now to give her a better life in the future, a life that I believe can only come if I am able to excel academically. Looking back, I don’t know if it was the right decision or not, but what I do know is that I hope Peyton doesn’t hold this against me and that some day she understands that parents have to make tough decisions sometimes and that they’ll be decisions that not everyone understands, but that they were made for the best.