Since January 14, 2012 when things went south at TheBigBank (two days in), I kept in my head the back door called consulting as a last resort. It wasn't that I didn't want to do it, it's lucrative, assignments can either be short or long term and there is enough business in my particular niche to keep me in the Northeast. The primary reason I didn't pursue this option was the travel; I'd be gone at least three weeks out of the month and Elizabeth was too young to lose her mother that frequently but as a last resort it was feasible. I never had to take that last resort and when I took the two month perm to hire position at The Giant Company I had a twenty minute commute. I didn't think about travel at all.
Now that it looks like I'll be working from home starting in August and with most of the team being consultants there are changes coming. Even if I had a seat in the new building there would still be changes because the consultants are being shipped off to Cincinnati and Detroit and will need some sort of leadership on site on a fairly regular basis. I knew I'd be going to Cincinnati in August before I even knew I'd be working from home.
It's highly unlikely that I'll travel more than one week out of the month but five days out is still five days out. I didn't worry about it. Elizabeth is fifteen and a half and more than capable of taking care of herself and her father is a fifteen minute drive away. He's kept her before. She will be away during my first trip which makes it a nonevent but in September she'll have just started her junior year and we'll be back on the Uber machine.
Last night we talked about travel and what that would look like but we were temporarily derailed when she asked how many days.
I'll leave very early on Monday morning and return Friday night.
I traveled a lot when my first two were young. They were used to it and didn't fret much although if I went anywhere near Orlando they expected gifts when I walked in the door. You know, you make that first mistake with a pair of Mickey ears from the airport Disney store and it's all down hill from there.
Elizabeth has no experience with a traveling mom and no expectations other than I am here with her, always. She is anchored by my existence even if she's locked herself in her room for the evening and are schedules are timed such that we barely pass in the morning as I am out the door just as her alarm goes off.
Anchored. Moored with a long line.
The line just got longer, Elizabeth and Facetime is a beautiful thing.
Eventually she settled down while considering logistics but it wasn't until this morning that I realized that while traveling while they're young is one thing, traveling when they are older has it's own drawbacks, especially if they aren't used to it.
I consider this morning that it's entirely possible she'll learn that she can anchor herself, independent of either parent and while this is freeing for her it is nearly devastating for me. I wasn't ready, I am not ready, but she is.
Elizabeth, No! Please don't go, baby. I have no idea what life looks like without you only twenty virtual feet away at any given point in time.
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