Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Grateful Parent

Growing up my father traveled a lot.. and by that I mean A LOT! There were times when I wouldn't seem him for more than a few days and he'd be off again. I thought he was very cool to be traveling... and I also thought he was living a very cosmopolitan life getting to travel as much as he did. At home, my mother and I never really got a groove going. She tried - I just didn't think she was very cool and honestly, as a teenager, I didn't really give her a chance. My father would come back with a trinket from a far off place, and maybe some toiletries (or slippers or a robe) and I would shower him with admiration.

I now seem to be that cool parent - the one who travels. But, I don't feel very cosmopolitan or cool, in fact, I kind of feel like a lech for leaving my poor husband to be a single parent. He's always known that this would be part of the bargain, but, it doesn't stop me from feeling guilty and wondering -- did my father feel guilty all those times?

I've also started to get really paranoid every time before I fly. I sit with Izz and hold her and kiss her and hope she remembers me if something goes wrong. I start to imagine the worst case scenario -- and I dread getting on the plane. I also worry that she will resent me in later years, that the attachment she feels for me now will wane and she'll grow angry at my career for keeping me away rather than admire me for being able to have a family and a career.

My whole life I've loved flying, maybe because I always thought that it made me more like my father... now, I'm starting to be afraid. Maybe, in the end, all his traveling wasn't that glamorous after all.

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