Traveling Alone

I’m traveling for work this week, nine days of business obligations and of being on-the-go. This is the longest I’ve been away from the kids, and I’m all the way on the other side of the country. My son, as I said good-bye, hugged me and said, “Don’t forget my snuggles, Mommy.” (Cue, the awwwwws.) My daughter, captivated by the iPad, gave a little wave as I got in the taxi to the airport but otherwise my departure seemed uneventful to her.

It’s strange to go from always thinking of and caring for other people to just thinking about myself. The separation from my family notwithstanding, there are some perks to this time away. Hotel beds (thank you, Hilton). Room service. Complete control of the remote control. Dinners with professional colleagues. Visits to Starbucks that do not require purchasing chocolate milk. Engaging conversations with adults. 
The downsides, of course, are tremendous. I really miss my family. I did OK the first four days, but then, it hit me. That sort of longing that feels almost physical.

If I was missing my loved ones so much, I wondered how my colleagues–I’m traveling with 99% of my office–were faring, so I did a little survey. I asked them what was going on back home, how their loved ones were doing. The positive news for my colleagues is those with significant others are being missed. It’s not fun to miss someone but it is good to be missed. The interesting news was that my coworkers, all of whom are women, are the chief organizers and conveners in their relationships, so our at-home husbands, fiancees, and boyfriends are searching for things to do without us and many of them–both those with kids and those without–went home to Mom. Doesn’t matter how old we get, I guess, we need our Moms.

So, until I get home, I’m using Skype and FaceTime to stay connected and to send love across the wires. The time away is good, but nothing beats those snuggles in person.

photo credit: caribb via photopin cc