The short answer to this titular question is “Yes.” In exactly 24 hours I will be on a bus which will take me to the airport where I will board a plane to London. I am traveling with two fun-loving, hardworking, supportive colleagues and 18 high school students with personality-plus. The trip will be exciting, it will be educational and eye-opening. I adore traveling–but this trip comes at a cost.
Nine days away from my family.
And I would be lying if I didn’t say this makes me wistful–even sad.
Three months ago, I didn’t even think I’d be able to go. Edgar was having active seizures–every day, many times a day; and I knew that if that were the case come April, there would be no way I could leave town let alone the country. But his seizures have subsided, and I can leave. My husband is here, and there is a strong network of family and friends who will care for my sons while I’m away and their father is at work.
But it’s hard. Oscar just got his glasses this week; and every time I look at him he appears less like a boy and more like a young man–and I am reminded how fast time is flying. Edgar, though seizure-free since January 28th, is continually adjusting to changes (albeit reductions) in his medications; and August has been coming up with new words and expressions every day that belie his two-year-old self and give me pause.
I’m going to miss them, I’m going to miss these nine days with them–a lot.
And, yes, I know it’s good for them to see their mother go and come back, to hear about people’s travels as they dream of their own future adventures, to be with caregivers different from those they’re used to. And I know it’s good for me and good for my students. And I know how lucky I am–for so many reasons–that I can go.
But today I have a pit in my stomach–and a significant one at that.
And something tells me–whether I am the chaperone leaving behind three very young children or the parent who is sending their teenager overseas for the first time–that that pit will be my constant companion.
But as long as these three are my constant companions as well, it’s a price I’m willing to pay.