This evening I am leaving for my first business trip in over two years. In fact, it's my first solo trip of any kind in the last couple of years. It's a quick flight to Denver to observe surgery tomorrow, and I'll be home tomorrow night, but I am dreading it. It's not my first night away from home since Asher was born--as you might imagine, there are some nights that I just don't make it home because L&D is busy--and there are even more nights that I'm home to sleep but miss Asher's bedtime and wake-up, but somehow having to go on a plane and planning to sleep in another bed makes feel more "away." Mommy is not handling things well.
Being a physician in private practice generally means staying close to home. Whereas some docs travel a lot to conferences and training gigs, those of us in private practice don't get out much. It's one thing when your employer pays for these kinds of trips and doesn't dock your salary. Unfortunately, I don't pay myself for time out of the office, so most of my continuing education comes from reading and local meetings. Honestly, it's what I prefer. I am definitely a homebody. I've never wanted a job that would acquaint me with airports all over the world. My fear of flying might have something to do with that. I am happiest in my own space, with my own stuff, and surrounded by my own people, even moreso now that "my people" means my little family.
I left the house much earlier than necessary. I could have carpooled with someone, but that would mean leaving the house right at dinnertime. Certainly not an ideal time for me to say goodbye. But I think I realized that the longer the day wore on, the harder it would be for me to leave. We tried to explain to Asher about my trip and how I would be home to see him in a couple of mornings. The fantastic thing about two-year-olds is that he really didn't need an explanation. Tomorrow he will be surrounded by people who love him--Daddy and Nanny Becca--and though he might think about me a lot, it won't really occur to him too much that I'm gone. Most of me was hoping for a panicked, tearful goodbye from him. Only a small part of me can acknowledge that this kind of goodbye was better for all involved.
So here I sit in the San Jose airport, about 3 hours before my flight is actually going to leave (an hour delay...so far). The few belongings I need for this whirlwind trip are packed into the diaper bag I no longer need since it's the only bag I have that is remotely the correct size. I realize now that it's been ages since I've traveled so light, and the bag is a not-so-subtle reminder of the 25-pound cargo I left back home. I feel self-conscious about it all, feeling like I don't fit in with the rest of the Silicon Valley business travelers for whom today is just like any other Sunday. Unlike the other travelers, I've got a super cute cuddle bug to spy on via webcam while he sleeps tonight. Can't wait for bedtime!