Today I ducked out of a company off-site meeting/party. The meeting was over, the lunch had been served and I, well, I have a hard time socializing in overwhelmingly large groups of people, even when those people are folks I adore.

And I do adore the folks with whom I work every day. I’m lucky that way.

So with a couple of hours to spare until the festivities wrapped, I took my leave, caught a cab, grabbed an early train home. There is little I regret about my life, but I regret sometimes that I am not made up of the stuff that it takes to be at home with my girl all day. It weighs heavy on my heart some days that I’m not there for every moment. I worry about the things that I miss. I am salved, in many ways, knowing that I am providing a life for her that is privileged – we have a home in a safe neighborhood, food on the table, health care and all of the tangibles to which so many kids aren’t privy, all because her Dad and I are blessed enough to be gainfully employed.

I’m grateful in so many ways for my job, my career, so I don’t want to come off otherwise.

But if I have the chance for a couple of extra hours, a couple that previously belonged to work and those people I adore, I’ll take them. The person who I love more than anyone automatically gets those hours. Even if she ends up napping for some or, as the case may be, all of them.

I took care of some emails on my Blackberry on the train, and walked in to a big gummy smile and arms outstretched from my girl. We all chatted for a bit, and I took care of some more work. I bounded upstairs to see Abigail and her nanny playing on the floor, Abigail on her belly. Her nanny mentioned how well Abigail seemed to be “playing” her toy piano, when I asked her, “Oh, well she can sit up and do that, too!”

Her nanny didn’t know she could do that.

In my first moment of parental bragging, I whisked my child up and plopped her into an easy upright position, where she stayed contentedly, excitedly, showing us all – the nanny, Glinny, me – how she could slam her hands down onto the toy piano, set off myriad lights, the cacophony of sounds filling the room – the music, the laughter, the pride – to their breaking point.

I am not missing everything after all.