File last week in our family history book under “Not One of The Better Ones.”
Last week was one of those weeks where my soon-to-be-9-year-old daughter and I were pecking at each other like a couple of crotchety old hens. I was constantly repeating myself, and she was constantly failing to do what I asked her to do. I, in trademark fashion, would lose my temper, over and over again, escalating in heated response while she, understandably, would become sullen. We both felt horrible and guilty, and yet, it seemed neither of us could stop.
But then, I had a business trip.
To be clear: I adore my family, and really miss them whenever I’m away. But sometimes? Sometimes a business trip comes at just the right time for me to get my priorities straight. It allows us to go to our respective corners and recuperate. It allows some distance, so I can gather some perspective. And while having a bed all to myself is blissful for the first night or two of my trip, by the time the last day comes around, I find myself missing my crazy family — my husband, and then in the mornings, my daughter and dog — piling onto the covers. I miss my loud crazy family.
On my return on Sunday, when I walked out of the airport and toward my husband’s waiting car, my daughter was waving frantically from the back seat. Suddenly, she unbuckled her seatbelt and leapt out of the car, hurtling herself at me, grinning from ear-to-ear. It was the best greeting ever, and in the days since, we’ve been much better at being gentle with each other.
So yes, I sort of love business travel. It’s a quick little reminder that absence sometimes makes the heart grow fonder.