Team Reunited

It was just one night. Slightly over 24 hours. But it was more difficult than I thought it would be.
I traveled to Athens this week for a meeting, and had to spend one night there. I’ve had several such work meetings around the state recently, and I’ve always dragged Lee and Camille along on any overnights. And while I have liked having them with me, it was becoming increasingly hard on them make the trip. Camille’s not interested in just sitting in the hotel room, and Lee has work to do too.
So for this trip, we decided I would wing it solo. I was okay with this decision even though I knew I’d miss them. I was looking forward to visiting with Nikki, Andrew, Nia and Nate, and being “off-duty” for a full night of sleep. And I forgot how easy it is to pack for just one adult. When we take Camille, we have to begin packing days in advance, and the car is stuffed from floorboard to roof with the pack-n-play, clothes, food and toys. Out of habit, I grabbed a big suitcase, and realized how empty it was with just my pajamas and clothes for one day.
But leaving was really hard. Camille was still not feeling well, and I always worry about her even more than usual when she’s sick. I knew I’d only be gone one night and I completely trust Lee to take wonderful care of her. But I’d never been so physically far away either. If something happened, if she and Lee needed me, I couldn’t just come running. I’d be back as quickly as I could, but it would take time.
Visiting with the Valleses was great, and hanging out with them helped ease my homesickness. But I still found myself scooping up the kids and cuddling them close because my arms were missing Camille very much. As Nia and I watched a cartoon before she went to bed, I even asked her, “Can I hold you like a baby? I miss my baby Cami.” She sweetly obliged.
After the kids went to bed, Nikki and I went to grab a drink. It felt strange, strolling in the restaurant and heading straight for the bar. The bartender asked what we wanted, and we had no clue. It had been a long time since either of us had ventured out like that.
But soon, I settled in to my crown and coke, and enjoyed talking with Nikki. I miss her.
Later that night, alone in my hotel room, it was impossible to push away the homesick feeling. I missed my husband, and I missed our little girl. And thanks to her cold (or whatever ailment it is this time), she wasn’t sleeping well. All night, I kept waking up to look at the alarm clock, wondering how they were doing. I know how hard it can be when she won’t sleep, how quickly you become exhausted. But Lee and I always tackle these tough nights together. It’s easier to parent when you’re part of a team, and I didn’t like being away from my teammate.
The next day, my meeting was fine but really seemed to drag toward the end. I’m sure that’s just because I was constantly looking at my watch, ready to bolt for the door to start the 4 hour drive.
When I finally arrived home, it was wonderful to open the front door to see Lee and Cami on the couch. Camille was in her pajamas, drinking her nighttime bottle. She was sleepy, but happy to see me and chatted for a little bit to tell me all about the adventures she had with Daddy before finishing her bottle and going to bed. It was great to see Lee, to sit beside him and hear all about his day.
And while I know I’ll have to travel again, I can’t deny how peaceful it felt to come home, and to have the team back together again.