Road trinkets

I can’t say I absolutely love business travel. Time away from the family. Time away from my day-to-day duties at the office. And very long days. On the flip side, my travels are always extremely productive, uncover potential business opportunities, and are a part of my job that I accept and (sometimes) do well.

My favorite thing on the road – by far – are the trinkets my kids send me off with. Not always intentional, I find that little treasures follow me on my journeys frequently.

I had a great day today. A great day with clients. A great dinner, a few drinks with colleagues, and a day full of strategic thinking, planning, and career fulfillment. It was dynamic, energizing, engaging, challenging, fun…all the things that motivate me to be a working mom.

But my favorite, best, most inspiring part of the day? Finding my daughter’s binky (aka pacifier) in my pocket.

I don’t love that my daughter still uses her binky at night at the age of (almost) 2. But because it’s limited to nappy nap and nighty night only, I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about the weaning process. She has recently started to play the “I’m testing you” game, seeing how long we’ll let her go in the AM before we pull it. And I admit it, on some mornings when we are rushed for time and I just need her dressed and out the door without issue, I let her keep it in her mouth until we get to daycare.

Yesterday morning was one of those exceptions to the rule. I hadn’t packed the night before. I wasn’t feeling great. We slept late (yes, the whole family). So pulling the binky the minute she got out of bed? Not exactly high on the list of priorities. And frankly, we have four on her nightstand, ensuring that we have appropriate coverage for these moments, as well as for the nights that she spits it out and wakes up because she’s missing it.

And while I’m not proud that I took the “easy way out” knowing that the binky was a pacifier that would make all the little morning transitions easier, I am so happy that I took the easy way out yesterday. Because, even after a thrilling and challenging work day, I was missing my kids. I was homesick. And I wanted to hug them and tuck them in.

Finding the binky in my pocket (I’d pulled it right when we got out of the car at daycare) was a piece of home from the road. A piece I’d forgotten I’d brought with me, a piece that made me feel just a bit closer to home this evening.

I love my job. I’ve learned to appreciate the travel for what it satisfies and brings me professionally. But my kids are my world.

Good night, sweet baby girl. Mama loves you.

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