In Chicago…O’Hare. Not exactly my favorite place in the world. Unless…I was on my way to an exotic vacation with my family. But…I’m not. Instead, I am people watching and writing to you to avoid thinking about being away from my special people until Friday. Why is it that I never get used to packing up and leaving my home? (Home is the reference to the important people that live there, rather than an affinity for the actual place). It’s not that I don’t like to travel, it’s that I don’t like to leave the people that I love. Of course, I’m always fine on my own…it’s just not the way I would prefer to spend my time.
I don’t travel all that much for work anymore. An occasional one or two nights away to Cleveland and I am usually home the next night tucking my kiddies into bed…just where I want to be. This week is a little different. I’ll be in Phoenix until Friday afternoon.
I remember back in the days of being newly married I would travel for work a lot. It didn’t matter how many times I would go, when it came time to leave (which I would always wait until the last possible minute, even if it meant driving late into the night), I would cry. It was a silly routine I suppose, but like clockwork, I would get teary and run through my head a list of fake excuses that I could come up with to keep me home (never once did I actually ever use one). Ben would hug me, console me, and promise me a “surprise” when I got home. Just like a kid, I would wipe my tears, load my car, and leave…beginning the internal timing, ticking away the minutes until I would be home. I would return after the trip and find a slumber party in the living room with a box of Spree and Sour Patch Kids with a pizza and taped episode of Friends to watch together and all would be good in the world.
Fast-forward ten years and you come to last night and this morning, and my goodbyes…times three. Last night as I read books, sang, and tucked each child in bed (with enough kisses to cover me for a few days), we ran through the week’s events. At their ages, understanding the week’s schedule seems to help them adjust to change. They each had their own questions and tearful moments. They both made me promise to wake them up this morning when I left to give them a kiss and say goodbye. (Don’t worry – things haven’t changed too much – I still ran through a list of excuses to Ben last night. J) This morning, I climbed up into Myles’s loft and kissed his cheek. He groggily rolled over and whispered to me, “I love you, Mom. I hope you have a good week. I’ll miss you.” Jillian was not so easy, immediately fighting back tears and eventually giving in to her emotions and sobbing. I carried her into my bed and tried to console her. It just breaks my heart. Now, there is no room for me to cry. I have to show them that everything will be fine and we will be together again very soon.
It is so hard to walk away and leave their little faces for a few days. I may sound like a total crazy person, but I don’t feel like “a break” from my kids. I don’t need “time for myself”. I enjoy being home. I love doing everyday things. Juggling the everyday demands of two children and a job is plenty exciting for me. No need for jet set adventures. Yet, I recognize the need for these trips for my job. Sometimes the phone and video conferencing can only get you so far and it is time to board a plane and get some work done. That is my plan for the week. Oh – and to find something fun that my kids would enjoy. The countdown to Friday began at 4:35am when I pulled out of the driveway. The reunion will be awesome.