For 15 years I’ve felt the sadness and excitement as Michael has left and returned from the countless business trips that his position demands. This week was the first time that I felt something different.

During the early years I would be left standing at the airport, lost and alone, wondering what the hell I would do for the next week or three. To top it off, we lived in Germany where I knew very few people, and spoke very little German.

As the years passed it became easier to pass the time. Work demanded a lot of me (we had our own business), and we always had pets that needed attention and exercise. And then we had Austin.

When Austin was young it was really tough. He would cry when Michael left, which made the situation infinitely worse. And then there was the sudden realization that I was essentially to be a single parent for anywhere between 5 and 10 days. Preschool and daycare,  then before school care and school, lunches and play dates, meals and bath time, and worst of all… bed time.

To this day, when Michael travels Austin sleeps in our bed. It’s become a bit of a tradition, really, and I actually look forward to the snuggles now. I know it won’t be long before bedtime cuddles won’t be cool ☹️

So, this week. Michael left Monday morning, and returned this afternoon. A short trip compared to the many others he’s taken recently. And although there was unforeseen drama, I didn’t feel stressed or alone. For the first time I didn’t feel like I was failing as a parent, late to school, missing a lunch, without homework.

I realized now that Austin is able to dress himself, feed himself, and get himself ready to go, I no longer feel rushed and exhausted. He’s actually a big help, and that has made these weeks a breeze.

I still don’t like when Michael has to travel for business, but having a child who’s willing and able to help out when he does, sure goes a long way ❤

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