I remember the first business trip I ever took after Iris was born. I had to go to Dallas, TX for a week to work with Microsoft’s support & services group and took place around the time Iris was four months old. I remember one of the engineers I was working with remarking how much I must’ve missed my new child. Of course, I agreed. And I did. Sort of.
Now I don’t want to sound like the world’s worst father and the truth is that I loved being a dad. But I was tired. Really tired, both mentally and physically. The trip wasn’t my choice and I did feel for Cherise, but I have to admit that getting away for a few days really hit the spot. Nights without the crying baby. Just wandering around in the evenings, not worrying about a tired mother or crying baby at home. Uninterrupted thinking time. I hate to admit it, but it was heaven.
And it’s now been six years since that trip. Iris is older and Robyn has come along. So when I was faced with a 15-day trip across four states (my longest trip ever), I was wondering how much I’d miss the kids. After all, there’s new technology (Facetime/Skype), the trip was more exciting (great conferences, chance to see my brother and also my cousin with her new baby), and maybe I needed the break with two of them. After all, I still do value my alone time. I’m sure I’d be fine.
Nope. Man, I miss the girls.
It’s amazing how important the kids have been for me, and I don’t mean that as a matter of obligation, but rather as a matter of sanity. Each extra day the trip went on, I got a little more antsy, a little more tired, a little more impatient. It sounds like it should be the opposite, right? After all, the kids are not easy and they’ll test your patience more than anything. But their unbridled optimism, their genuine love, and their ability to find beauty in everything is incredibly uplifting. I need that balance to handle the pressures of the rat race. They’re my inspiration, my drug, and my reason for living. Of course, they wouldn’t be nearly as powerful without Cherise. I guess in a lot of ways, I miss her most of all. It’s not that I didn’t miss her when I traveled pre-kids, but it was different. Those days would be better described as cute. Now, she is my way of life. I’m ofrtunate in that the greatest partner I’ve ever had in my life is my life partner.
I’m probably not expressing anything that a dedicated father than truly loves his kids feels. I’ve always been a self-confessed homebody and having a family has only reinforced that. The contrast of needing to escape the family life to get piece of mind six years ago to needing to race home to the family to get piece of mind certainly has been a huge reminder of how fortunate I am. Over the course of the 15 days, I met up with over 20 old friends , had dozens of official meetings, saw tons of celebrities including Alicia Keys, Mark Cuban, & MC Hammer, and was introduced to over 50 entrepreneurs–and yet all I could think about were the three people that I’ve been seeing over and over every day in my humdrum life. And it seems like the feeling was mutual…