I've been fortunate enough to get a few days off from rugby and come home to see my little family.  It doesn't seem like a long period of time, but already Ava seems to have grown up from the little girl I knew.  

She is far more mobile now, and much more vocal about what she wants. She is eating more, and seems to be sleeping less.  She goes to others and readily interacts with other children.  She seems to be far less reliant upon her dad now, which is something I knew would happen, but of course is no less upsetting.  

She now has her grandparents (from Meg's side) over visiting, and as usual, they're showering her with love and she is lapping it up.  As possibly the happiest little baby I've ever known, it's hard to imagine her being even more happy.  Seeing her face light up with her grandparents is wonderful, but not being a part of it isn't so much fun.  I knew that going away for this time would be a sacrifice, I just didn't realise how much I'd miss.  It's not a quantifiable thing - I haven't missed any milestones or anything like that - it's the way she's grown, how her character has developed that I missed.  

I know that I complain about missing her, but in fairness I have a much easier task than Meg - working full time as well as taking care of Ava through the nights has been rough on her and without her I would never be where I am.   Having her parents come to visit is of course a massive help to all of us, but they've also had to sacrifice work & other family commitments.  I couldn't be more appreciative of the support I'm getting from everyone here.  When I step off again tomorrow, it will be with a heavy heart, but knowing that my girls are in great hands and when I get back, there will be so much to hear about - Ava might even have something to say!  


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