Going away and spending time apart from missy, is no pleasure. Thankfully, I don’t have to do it particularly often, and when I do, it’s generally for selfish reasons. I go and watch cricket (for American readers, the sport of cricket has been described as being like a slow game of baseball), and while I love to do it, it does mean I am away from Missy for a week or so.
We certainly talk on the phone, but it’s not the same. I miss her, and I miss my wife. You might think being away is the perfect time for catching up on sleep, or catching up on my mid-life crisis by staying out late at the pub. But actually, I usually don’t sleep that well, and the last time I made it past 11pm, Greece was an economically viable country. Funny how when I’m away, a lack of children noise stops me from sleeping – and too much adult noise stops me from hanging out in bars.
In the distant past, I had a work colleague who had two pre-adolescent daughters. Ouch! – Three females in the house. Firstly, that meant he got no bathroom time – and when he did manage to sneak in for some ‘alone’ time, there was certainly no peace. His life was a blur of pretty dresses, hair, and make-up. His Christmas day dreams of remote controlled Tanks ready to battle with boxes of toy soldiers, was but a wispy fantasy. His day would be spent plaiting hair and painting fingernails.
So when a business trip came up, I always expected him to be super keen. He never was. He missed his girls. Until missy came along, I confess, I never properly understood. Now I do. So when I travel, far from being a break, it’s time when I miss my girls. Sure, I have fun with my friends – loving your family doesn’t mean you can never be away from them, and certainly being on a plane without a child has its advantages, but it never outweighs the joy of being with my wife and daughter.
Admittedly, I sometimes wander past the dinosaur section of Double-the-Price ‘R’ Us, and wonder if Missy might like a stegosaurus to play with – or I gaze at the monster truck section, looking forlornly for a pink one with a princess themed paint job. But like my work buddy, I truly love having a daughter, and all the hair, painted nails and party dresses that come with her.
(Disclaimer: I cannot, nor am I allowed to, plait Missy’s hair)
So going away, be it business or pleasure is always a mix. I do love to watch cricket, and have some laughs with my friends, but I do love to be with my family, and I miss them when I’m away.
But after any time away, as I slide my key in the front door, I know the reception that awaits me:
“Hi Daddy, please be quiet, Cinderella is on the TV”.
It’s good to be home with my girls.