I am sitting here in the moments before takeoff when there is nothing to do but think. I cherish these minutes even as I’m quickly bored by them.
The plane makes the turn into our runway and starts to pick up speed. That welcome acceleration after a tepid march to the runway.
My thoughts drift. To my girls first. Always. They’ll still be tucked in bed (likely our bed by now) cheeks flushed with the slumber of babes, tiny hands clenched in some dream.
I’m often asked how I balance both halves of my life and while I struggle with that question, I always respond that it’s not the tactical day to day that’s the worst. Because I’ll be the first to tell your our incredible nanny does most of the heavy lifting there.
It’s the philosophical. It’s the self doubt of wondering if I’m doing right by them. Sure I’m a great role model but am I a great mama?
It’s impossible (and impractical) to ignore the realities of my absence. I know my girls are growing up with a reality that doesn’t have a mother home for significant parts of the week. And while there are positive role modeling effects, I worry more that I’m not the one that my 5 year old runs to with stories about school. Or that my 2 year old associates words like “O-feece” and “mama way” (mama away) as much as anything else.
The plane climbs higher now. The break through the clouds. The sky is piercing blue and the clouds a comforting if deceptive blanket.
There are no answers. Just the questions.
The seatbelt light dings off.
The indulgence is over. Time to get back to work.