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March 25, 2015

The Silver Lining of My Work Travel

I traveled for work last week, three days and four nights.  The longest I’d been away prior to that was one night (twice), both times within the last 8 or 9 months.

I was nervous to leave everyone.  I knew they’d ultimately fare fine, but I knew it wouldn’t be easy on anyone.  I could picture the girls (and maybe the husband!) getting tired and cranky by Day 3, breaking down into a puddle of tears.

I’m thankful to report that everyone seemed to do pretty well in my absence.  In fact, I think I’m the only one who cried.  It certainly wasn’t easy on anyone, and it’s something I hope I don’t often have to repeat, but I’m also glad to have this milestone under our belts.

As I look back on the week, there are three really sweet things that stand out to me…things I wouldn’t have experienced had I been in the same zip code all week.

1) I had a morning flight on Tuesday and I had to be at the office about an hour early.  Daddy took the girls to school (to early drop-off) so I wouldn’t have to manage that additional piece of run-around as I was working to get on the road.  They left a couple of minutes before I did, so I got to wave goodbye to them.  Since my vehicle is the only one that had carseats prior to kindergarten starting this fall, and since I always take the girls to school, this NEVER happens.  How sweet it was to kiss them in their carseats…to stand in the driveway while we waved madly at each other…to sign “I love you” to each other as they drove off.

2) It was only about a year ago that I talked to the girls on the phone for the first time.  When we weren’t together, they were either at preschool or I was out for a quick errand.  I remember very clearly talking with them on the way home from spending some time with my friend D in December ’13.  It struck me how grown-up they sounded on the other end of the line!

During this trip I talked to them quite a few times.  The highlights were hearing their excitement over the “leprechaun” who visited their class on Tuesday…and then hearing their signature, “Bye-I love you-bye!” at the end of every conversation.  Once they’re ready to get off the phone, they’re READY, but not without first saying “I love you”.

3) On Thursday morning I missed talking to the girls.  (I left a message at home for them to call me, thinking they were upstairs.  When I dialed J’s cell phone a few minutes later, he told me he’d just dropped them off.)  I felt TERRIBLE.  I decided to text A’s teacher and ask her to pass along a note to the girls.  Please tell them to have a great day, I love them, and I’ll talk to them tonight.”  [And it was then that I cried.]  I love the girls’ teachers, and I knew Mrs. S. would make sure they got the message.  Although it was still a rough start to my morning, it made my heart smile to know that she’d take special care of them that day.

I got home Friday night (after a crazy run-around in the airport, not knowing if I’d make my flight due to weather in the northeast), just in time for bedtime.  I read the girls, “Who’s Got My Purr”, where the kitten searches for her purr…finally, exhausted, she gives up and curls next to her mommy…only to find her purr right there.  “You hear it when you’re happy!” her mommy explains.



Mrs FF said...

The girls are growing up and I think we the adults aren't ready. Glad you got back home in good time and as planned and the weather didn't derail your plans

Marcia (123 blog) said...

wow Mandy, you're having to make these changes - so many of them - all in a year :o

But what sweet babies!!!!! And of course they coped. I must write more about Overwhelmed (the book) but you will for sure appreciate it. If you don't have an audible membership yet, get one and get overwhelmed. I listen in the car on the way from work and I'm getting through the non-fiction.....

cat said...

Oh gosh, how sweet are the girls. And gosh, I can think how hard all this must be but you are all taking it in your strides. Children are so much more adaptable than we adults

Sadia said...

I wondered how it had gone. It sounds like you were all troopers. Every time I speak to my girls on the telephone, they sound so grownup. I hadn't thought about having them drive off without you be a milestone, but it so is. I cried SO HARD the first time my girls got on the school bus.

Yetunde said...

So glad this worked out great for you & your family. I know sometimes its hard for me to accept the fact that the kids are so much more resilient than I can imagine.... I'm leaving my troops for a week in April and I suspect that I'm more anxious than they are