Saturday, July 4, 2009

4th of July with Ellie

After an upsetting departure from visiting home Emily’s family allowed me to take the rental car her dad had got us to go see my daughter for the weekend. This I found amazingly generous as her parents had just found out about Ellie just the previous day from Emily. I was nervous about them finding out but apparently they completely understood. I was just waiting until Em was ready
to tell them. Driving down to Old Greenwich in the afternoon I was desperately hoping that Ellie would be in a good mood and would be happy to see me because I was in a miserable mood and greedily needed some cheering up badly! Not only did was she in a good mood, she was the best part of my whole trip home!
When I arrived her mom Nicolette and I went to pick her up at daycare where she was all wound up and running around laughing! She hid on us and as soon as her mom reintroduced me as “daddy” she happily called me it the entire weekend! We went fromdaycare first to get some ice cream and I found out Ellie loves pink strawberry ice cream. We then went to a pet shop where I carried her around so that she could be high enough to see all the animals in their cages. She especially liked the chinchillas and the lizards calling each of them by their name and waving goodbye to all the animals as we left. We went home and had a quick dinner before heading out to the fireworks at Binney Park down the road. It was Ellie’s first time watching fireworks and I was excited to share another rare “first” with my daughter. We took the stroller
down to the park with blankets and found a spot on the grass to watch them. Her mom gave me some money to go buy her a rainbow glow sword from a vendor which she seemed to really enjoy swinging around, although she seemed to like it with the lights turned off more for some reason. She poked me and prodded me laughing in glee the whole time. Her mom had brought some sparklers but Ellie was nervous around them as she had burned her hand two days ago on one not realizing that the tip was still hot after it went out. I held her tight and she watched it intently as Nicolette let it burn out.
When the fireworks started we took up a closer spot below them to watch them. Ellie seemed to really enjoy them and pointed her sword towards the sky at nearly all of them. It was a pretty good show for the small town. I was impressed. On the walk back to car I knew Ellie was going to
be passed out by the time we got home as it was far past her bed time. I ended up in the cellar on the couch watching a bit of tv for the night after cuddling Ellie to sleep and making her promise to come downstairs and jump on daddy to wake me up in the morning.

Just as planned Ellie came running up to me in the morning with a big smile to wake me up. Thankfully she once again was in a “loving daddy” mood for the day. After some quick breakfast we hung out for a bit in the apartment playing with some of her toys and watching her as she played with the toy cooking set my mom had sent down with me to give her. In the afternoon
we took a drive to New Jersey to visit some of Nicolette’s friends for a bbq and some swimming in their community pool. Ellie seems to really love the water and also the small squirt guns I found and taught her to use on mommy! As usual it was uncomfortable for me because I again felt judged by those around me.

The best part of the entire weekend for me was my time playing with Ellie in the pool. I swam with her all around the pool, chasing inflatable rubber balls, holding her up out of the water while I went under and swinging her around in circles as she kicked and laughed in excitement. Nicolette took a bunch of photos of us. Ellie seemed to be really interested in going to say “hi” to all the other boys in the pool which I got a kick out of. After playing for a while she even requested
to try going under water with me which she has only done a few times before! I held her nose and told her to shut her mouth tight and quickly dunked her. She came up with hair in her eyes and looked about to cry but I reassured her and and wiped her hair and water out of her eyes and told her to open them which she did with a big smile and a strong hug for daddy. We must have played in the pool for about 45 minutes. My toes actually were raw from running on the rough bottom up and down the pool so much with her.

Ellie passed out very quickly on the ride home after the bbq. She was a little cranky going to bed but nothing serious. The next morning she again woke me up and we had some breakfast together. Nicolette had skipped church planning instead on taking Ellie for a ferry ride that afternoon with friends. After playing with Ellie a bit more and holding her tight I painfully had to say goodbye to my daughter again and head back towards Granby, CT to meet Emily and head to the airport. She said “bye daddy” as if she would see me tomorrow which hurt even more knowing that it is uncertain when I’ll be able to see her again. I love her so much and she is such a beautiful, happy little girl. I know that it’s right for me where I am but I always wish that there wasn’t a whole continent between me and my daughter!

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