Homesick in Europe

I was sitting in the airport in Paris, casually reading over the Wall Street Journal on my kindle and waiting for my flight connection to begin boarding.  I heard a noise that just pulled on my heart: the sound of a toddler crying to her mother. In that split second, I was pulled back from Business Kirsten to Mom Kirsten.

I looked up at a large extended family who was returning home after their trip to Disneyland Paris. A toddler, running around was the first to grab my attention. And then the baby boy, about the same age as Keira, staring at me over his pacifer. Then the young girl, about the same age as Ethan and Anthony, casually licking one of those large Disneyland lolly pops. My heart ached in a way that I’ve never really felt before: I was homesick.

The previous days had all been a blur, running around Europe from office to office, stopping and breathing only for a dinner with colleagues. I never had a chance to think about missing my family. But at that moment, in the relative calm of waiting for my flight, I had a chance to realize what I was missing.

I didn’t realize how much it would hurt to feel this homesickness. I’ve traveled for work before; in fact, I’ve done this same trip 3 or 4 times before. But this time, I had a baby at home. With the boys, I could call and talk to them, catch up on the day. Or send them emails asking how things were going. They could tell me that they miss me, I would tell them I miss them, too. Then I could reassure them that I would be home in a few days. But with Keira, this isn’t possible.

I called yesterday to “talk” to Keira. I think she had no idea that I was on the phone and just proceeded to try and eat the phone. The cuteness kills. I wondered if she missed me. I feel guilt thinking what she must be imagining. Does she think that I’ll be home any minute? Does she wonder if I’m coming back? And what if she doesn’t miss me? Is that better because she doesn’t feel the pain I’m feeling? Or worse, making me wonder “what kind of mother am I??”

I think that knowing it’s the weekend contributed to this overwhelming homesickness. I know that all three children are home to spend time with the family. With everyone, except me. Instead of getting that family time, I’ll be sitting at this hotel desk, working away and dreaming of getting to sit through our family dinner where Keira shreeks at the boys and the boys giggle back.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Papa
    Dec 11, 2010 @ 10:05:08

    Just know that you are indeed missed by everyone. I’m sure Keira knows your not here, but this extended family truly keeps her distracted and occupied. She never goes unloved. The boys miss you but understand! It’s probably hardest on “Dad” as he does not have you to talk with and understand his day! But it’s all temporary and when you walk back in, everything will return to normal – well at least what we’ve come to know as normal. You are loved and missed by us all. Enjoy the 9 hours of sleep because I have a feeling the first 2 AM feeding when you get home is yours. Love you!


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