I’ve never been on a business trip. But that’s not to say I don’t have an opinion on them. (There’s a lot of stuff I’ve never seen, done or really know anything about that I still hold a remarkably strong point of view on, especially after a glass or two of wine.)
But I do feel a little more qualified to talk about business trips than, say, who will make it to the Heineken Cup semis or whether scientists should bring the gastric brooding frog back from extinction.
That’s because Luc has been on business trips. Many of them. And when he goes on a business trip it’s a big deal because it’s:
- all about me, and
- all about me.
The majority of his trips took place when the boy was still a baby. A small baby. A waking up at all hours of the night baby. A crying, demanding, can’t decide whether I prefer the boob or the bottle but what does it matter because I’m just going to spew it all over everything within a 12-foot radius within 47 seconds of gulping it down anyway baby.
You see where this is going.
I was postpartum, unshowered and resentful. All I could picture was Luc in his spotless business casuals, striding through the airport, talking to grown-ups, reading a book or watching a movie uninterrupted on the flight and arriving at his hotel.
Aaaaah! The hotel room! The holy grail of the bitter, left-behind, spit-up-wiping mom. Where the bathroom is always clean and the seat is always down. Where the beds magically make themselves and there are more pillows than heads to lay on them. The fluffy robe. The remote in your hand. Room service just waiting to be summoned. And the silence. The blessed, blessed silence.
Oh yes, and the being alone. No spouse. No children. No need to talk. No need to respond to anything or anyone. Heaven.
(Did it matter that many of his trips were to remote, isolated outposts? With very little to do outside of work hours? Pretty dull when you get right down to it? Nope. Not to me. Totally beside the point.)
There was a period of several years when Luc didn’t have to travel for business. Then, out of the blue last year, he was off to Washington for a week. Thankfully I was way past postpartum. I manage to bathe on a regular basis. And I’m only resentful when it’s well deserved.
I thought I handled Washington pretty well if I do say so myself. Even went along with him staying the extra weekend so he could get in a couple of days of sight-seeing, since this was likely a once-in-a-lifetime trip. But, I’ll admit, simmering in the back of my mind was a little pot of envy. The call of a hotel room and a week to myself.
Luc’s in Chicago right now. Two days of sightseeing, then a five-day conference.
So far, the kids and I have fit in their kung fu and gymnastics lessons. We ordered in pizza and had a movie night. We went shopping for spring clothes and shoes because finally, finally, the snow is starting to melt. We had cookies and a latte at Starbucks. Bought a new video game. Had dinner at the neighbours’. Built a most impressive Lego city across the entire living room floor. Stayed in our PJs until noon. They’ve been fantastic and we’re having a great time just the three of us.
This morning we Skyped with Luc. He turned the laptop around at one point to show us his hotel room. He said he’d rather be home with us.
We’d rather have him home too. But there’s still a tiny part of me that wishes, just once, that I were there.