Parting is such sweet sorrow.

This past weekend was my first weekend away from my Stella.

We were in California for Mike's great aunt's 80th surprise birthday party. I have heard a lot about this aunt and how terrific she is and Mike really wanted me to meet her. And being that she's 80, the chances of her flying here are slim to never happening. So we went.

The day before we left and the day that we did leave, I had that butterfly in the stomach feeling. But not in a good way. In a "I may hurl at any moment" and "who keeps punching me in the gut?" kind of way. I was sad. I didn't want to leave her, but since we were only going to be there for one full day, it just didn't seem worth it to take her and all of Babies 'R Us with us. Plus she didn't have $80 to check her luggage, so she stayed home with Grandma.

There were lists and friendly little (and not at all annoying) post-it notes left all over the house... here's how you feed her, this is what you push to turn on the dishwasher, this is where we keep her crib, this is how you breathe and blink. But don't blink because then you won't be keeping your eye on my daughter! And no parties! ... From what I can tell the rules were followed but maybe that's because my Mom is a good cleaner-upper? Who knows. The nanny cam I installed will reveal all.

We walked through the airport and even though I was carrying my luggage, my arms felt light. Something was definitely missing. It's not often that I walk around the house without a baby in my left arm. It's how we do things. She loves to be held and carried and I love having a really buff left arm. And so walking through the airport and having my left arm swing back and forth felt wrong.

I probably called home half a dozen times before we even got on the plane. I missed her every second and I just wanted to see how the first few hours were going. Plus I wanted to hear her little voice in the background. I heard laughing ... Can you believe she was laughing? Without me! Like my Mom is as funny as I am. Whatever, Stella.

No really, hearing her laugh made me feel a hundred times better. She was in a good place and was being well taken care of. It was a huge relief. I needed to hear it. And I needed the 3 alcoholic beverages I had in the airport. In the airport. I had a couple more on the plane, but Part II of this story will explain that further.

So we boarded the plane and headed out to Los Angeles. Our baby at home. Laughing. Me on an airplane. Slowly unclenching.

(Part II to come - How to Fly like a Baller)