5 Things I Didn’t Miss While Away on Business – And One That Broke My Heart

Lincoln Memorial in D.C.I didn’t want to spend a week away from my family on a business trip. When duty calls in this economy all you can do is say, “Sir, yes sir!”

So I spent six-plus days in Washington, D.C., the city where I met and proposed to Mommylibrium, for work meetings. Of course I missed my boys. The Missus made sure to put them on the phone with me a time or two. Still, some parts of fatherhood I didn’t mind leaving behind, like the following five items …

  1. Fights Over Nothing: If children ruled the planet, World War III could begin with a fight over a used Q-Tip, a Hot Wheels car or a stick. As long as one child wants it, the other will gnash his teeth until it’s his. And no peace treaty can stop the melee that follows.
  2. Late Night Wake-Up Calls: I shared a room with a co-worker during my business trip, and the worst you could say about him was that he snored a little. Big deal. My sons are expert at shattering my REM sleep. “I’m thirsty!” “I’m scared!” ” … I think I heard something …” “Daddy, why does our dog rub her butt on the carpet?”
  3. Leaving the House Demands “Ocean’s 11”-level Planning: When I turned 18 I realized something odd about my parents. It takes them forever to leave the house. Check the lights. Check the stove. Is the dog OK? Double check the lights. Now I know where that habit started. It takes an eternity to prep the boys for a car trip, long or short. Heaven help us during freezing weather. That requires extra time for mittens, hats and fights over which mittens and hats they wanna wear.
  4. Underwhelming Reunions: In the movies when a son hasn’t seen Daddy for a while he runs to greet him, and the hug lasts so long they have to fade to black. Every time I go away I get a shrug – if I’m lucky. I know they missed me. It would be nice if they put on a show for dear ol’ Dad.
  5. The ‘Never Enough’ Blues: During my first day back home we took the boys to a fun outdoor restaurant, gave them copious time at the park and tossed the football around. We didn’t go fishing, though, and that caused a major problem for our 2-year-old.

Then again …

While I was away my wife sent a text with the following image. Suddenly I felt like racing to the airport like they do in bad rom-coms and grabbing the first flight home.

Eli and Ben sleeping while Daddy's away


photo credit: Stuck in Customs via photopin cc


  1. beth trapani says

    I LOVE this post. It perfectly encapsulates so many of the ‘drags’ of parenthood. Of course good parents love and enjoy their kids… but man, they’re work. The things you wrote about are some of my least favorite kidisms, as well. Can I add to the list: Dealing with extreme emotions. My boys vacillate between wildly exuberant and anguished – sometimes several times in the span of a minute. It’s a veritable roller coaster of emotions and I fear my seat restraints just aren’t enough sometimes!

    • Christian Toto says

      Thanks! Being away and then getting back into parental mode so quickly gave me a new perspective on it all … like a crash course in all the work a parent does on an ordinary day along with the frustrations. But oh, that picture of the boys intertwined at bedtime … it’s all worth it, and then some.

  2. says

    Sweet pic. I think any parent should be able to relate to this.
    Btw, when my wife travels for business (I don’t have that need), I am always a little jealous.

    • Christian Toto says

      Larry — I did watch three episodes of “Sons of Anarchy” on the plane ride back home from my biz trip, something I could never do with my lil’ boys on the flight!

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