Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Hardest Part

There have been many difficult moments during these early days of parenthood with the hardest of which happening today. Last night I couldn’t sleep as I didn’t want today to come. I knew that when I woke up the morning would go too fast and my departure would arrive too soon. This morning I woke up knowing that I would have to leave my family for a few days while I traveled to Chicago for work.

The plane was scheduled to depart just after lunch so we all piled in the car around 9:30 so that there wouldn’t be any timing issues. With my wife behind the wheel I sat beside my son staring at him as the mile markers streamed by the window. It was a ride that seemed to go on forever and one that ended way too soon.

While he usually sleeps whenever he is in the car, this time was different. He kept opening his eyes and looking at me as if to catch one last glimpse before daddy had to leave. Each time this happened was just as hard as the last.

When we arrived I moved slowly to prolong the moment. I kissed my son and kissed my wife. Then I watched them drive away as I made my way to the terminal doors.  

Even with the cluster at the counter when I found out US Airways and American Airlines aren’t talking anymore, the confusion at security where there were no signs directing which line to get in, and the debacle at the gate when seat assignments were handed out to all passengers, I still kept thinking about the looks from my son each time he woke up in the car. It is a look that persisted in my mind throughout the day. Even later in the night during the client meeting and after that sending time with a friend that I haven’t seen in over 3 years, I was still thinking about my wife and my son.

It is interesting to think about the changes that have occurred since the last time that I was on a business trip like this. Last year this whole thing was still new having only been at the company for 6 months, it was just my wife and me, and the whole business travel was something with which I was still unfamiliar. While by no means old hat, it is just a different experience this year. Same company, similar trip, a new son, and reconnecting with an old friend.

Things are different this year. It is going to be a great trip and an excellent event but I know my thoughts will remain with my family. Three nights until I can see my wife and son again. Until then, I have to work and enjoy the pictures that my wife will certainly be sending me. Those are the moments to look forward to each day.