I'm sitting in Sydney airport, waiting to board a long flight to somewhere I'd rather not be.
It's not anything about the place. I love the city I'm heading to. I just don't want to go there right now.
This afternoon I left home in a taxi craning my neck to catch that last glimpse of my family. I've never been away from 3rd Pea for more than about 10 hours in a row - and never over night.
Today I left and I won't see either 3rd Pea or C for a whole week.
I feel like I've had my stomach ripped out - like the majority of me is missing and I'm floating free.
I knew the first time would be bad, but this is utterly horrible. The only thing I want to do right now is catch the first available form of transportation home and curl up in bed with my beautiful girls.
It's not to be, though. Instead I'll be cooped up in a steel cylinder hurtling through the atmosphere and spewing emissions at a rate of knots. It's bound to be a pleasant night!
I called home earlier and C said that 3rd Pea hadn't really cottoned on to the fact that I had left for longer than I normally leave the house for. I just know she's going to wake up in the morning and realise that something has changed. I hate thinking that.
Still, it's only a week, right.
When 3rd Pea was first getting mobile C and I were at a local cafe and she (3rd Pea , not C) took a fancy to a guy who turned out to be Colombian. We got to chatting and it transpired that he had been in Australia for several years and hadn't seen his two children in all that time. Not sure what the back story was, but it seems that he and his partner were separated and that flying home on a regular basis (or any basis at all) was a difficult proposition.
Tonight, sitting here and wishing I was heading south and not north I take comfort in knowing that I'll be home in 7 days and not 7 years.
Sleep well sweet Pea, papa loves you.