By this time next week Charlotte will have completed an entire year of school. It will be her first day of summer vacation. Sure, she only attended two days a week for a few hours, but it was new for her (and for us) and the amount she has learned in one year is remarkable. I have an entire box filled with every piece of art work she brought home, one better than the next. Her preschool was fantastic and I will miss sending her there so much, but it’s time for full day pre-k which I think will do wonders for her.
She has a stepping up ceremony next Wednesday where I’m sure they are going to be singing adorable songs about going into pre-k and how they will miss the friends they made. I’m sure I would be crying, that is, if I knew I could be there. But what kind of mother misses their first child’s 3-k stepping up ceremony, you ask? What kind of monster does that? That monster, my friends, is me.
You see, for the first time in my working mom life, I had to make a difficult choice. My job is amazing and though I work full time, I do have the option of flexibility and the ability to be able to take off in an emergency if I need to. But a few weeks ago I was given the opportunity to travel for work, an opportunity I did not want to turn down. And that’s not just because it’s in San Antonio where the food is good and the drinks are better and I’ll have a hotel room all to myself, but because it’s a great opportunity.
So on Sunday I will be traveling to San Antonio, and on Wednesday morning I will be on a 6 AM flight desperately trying to make Charlotte’s ceremony. I have about 45 minutes from the minute the plane lands to the minute it starts and if all goes to plan I might be able to make it. I’ve moved my seat as close to the front of the plane as possible without upgrading to first class (although I’m totally going to try to talk my way into that) so I can run off and sprint to a cab. As long as there are no delays or an accident on the highway of epic proportions, I may be able to pull this off. So I’m doing everything in my power possible to be there and I have to let myself realize I am doing the best I can and that’s all I can do.
But honestly — if I miss it, I miss it. I’ll have video taken by her dad and I’ll be home early enough to celebrate her accomplishment. I don’t think she’ll remember I wasn’t there in the long term even though I had a tough time making this choice. But what I do know is that if she ends up being a working mom either by choice or necessity, and she gets an opportunity to travel, learn and grow in her career and she has to miss one of her kids events, she’ll know her own mom did it and everything was fine. She’ll see that her mom made the tough choice and she can make the tough choice too.
And to be perfectly honest with you I don’t think any dads out there traveling for work ever bat an eye at missing events and I don’t think people look at them and say “but how could you miss this?” Because traveling dads are expected, of course. Traveling moms are shit moms in some people’s eyes, though.
Really, the only thing I’m worried about is if she’ll wear the dresses I pick out for Eric to put on her and if she lets him brush her hair. I should probably just admit defeat in that department early.