Monday, October 27, 2008

Leavin', on a Jet Plane

For the first time in nearly a year, I will spend a few days away from my family as by the time this post is published I will be 35,000 feet up joining the Mile High Guilt Club headed for a business trip to Dallas. As if a trip away from home wasn't enough to deal with, I also have to reconcile the fact that I am leaving while Lukas has yet to recover from the Mumps (or Mump-like) virus that he has been suffering from for the last 10 plus days.

And, since Luke is still running a fever he can't go to daycare. We don't have anyone else to watch him especially since most of our generous neighbors have kids of their own who shouldn't be exposed. Mrs. LIAYF will have to stay home to take care of him and will thus miss out on a very important work project of her own.

She doesn't mind at all because, as it should be, Lukas is the most important thing in the world to her. It bothers me though, since it seems that every business trip I have taken since we found out we were expecting a child has been met with some sort of minor crisis at home, leaving me with a generous helping of miserable guilt for being away.

"Hey, I can sleep in past 6:30am!" just doesn't seem as exciting when you are leaving sick and burdened loved ones behind. I know, I know, that's life. Right? Still it doesn't make it any easier to swallow.

Anyone out there with any words of encouragement for this guilt-ridden dad?

11 comments:

iVegasFamily said...

It's always hard leaving a sick kid. I've been there. Good luck on your trip.

SciFi Dad said...

Encouragement? Nope.

Solidarity? Empathy? Step right up for your heaping bowl here.

I coined the term "Daddy Guilt" for this feeling. It hits me when I leave for work in the morning, let alone trips. (I have taken two trips since my daughter was born: one was 12 days, and one was six. Worst days of my life. Seriously.)

You'll be home soon. Try to focus on that.

James Austin said...

VegasDad - I think I feel nearly as guilty leaving my wife at home to deal with everything. Then, she is loading Luke up for a trip out to see me in Dallas Friday early morning. It will be his first flight and I just can't see him at all happy about staying in the same spot for 4-5 hours.

@SciFi - We do have solidarity then since it is a pretty awful feeling, especially since I like to be in control of things most of the time. Thanks.

morethananelectrician said...

I spend a night a month away from home and the quiet of the hotel is deafening. I never sleep well...too quiet and no action, but I have three. There is no cure...

James Austin said...

MTAE - Glad I don't have that routine. This is bad enough. Though Lukas did string together 'Hi Dada' over the phone which was great.

sonia said...

there's nothing you can do, I guess, but just go on the trip as your job demands it...however, if i were little Luke, I'd probably love it if my dad called more often during the days that he's away to talk to me. And also, maybe bring me a present when he comes back...

:-)

Viral fevers usually take a while, but the treatment is just supportive. Don't worry, he'll bounce back. You seem like a great dad. best wishes!

Dave Q. said...

I haven't experienced fatherhood yet, but all I can think is while yes, you probably feel guilty leaving the family while your son is ill, but you are doing it for the purpose of providing for them. It's a business trip. It's work. And although difficult, everyone will be good at the end.

And make sure you spoil them on Christmas. :)

Mrs. LIAYF said...

Honey, we are doing just fine - other than missing you! Enjoy the quiet hotel room, the freedom from dishes, and we will see you on Friday!

Love,
Lukas (and mom)

James Austin said...

@sonia - Thanks so much! I have been on the phone at every opportunity and that has been great. I am actually being visited by them on Friday for a few days of recreation so hopefully he will be feeling much better by then.

@Dave q - Great point. I realize at an intellectual level that these things must be done, I think it must make me feel better in some odd way to feel those pangs of guilt.

@Sweets - Thanks so much for the thoughtful comment. I miss you two very much already. You are such a terrific mother and wife and to be taking care of Lukas with all that is going on for you just proves how awesome you are.

DC Urban Dad said...

I have spent several days away from my family so far and it just down right S-U-C-K-E-D. Stay strong man. You can do it.

James Austin said...

DC - The uncertainty of his condition makes it even worse. He will seem to be fine and then his fever will come back slightly. This makes us unsure if he should go back to daycare or not. Trying to figure it out is very difficult.