In around two hours time, I will get an email to tell me that my twin boys are nearly home. I will immediately get in the car and drive the seven minutes to school where I will wait for the cars carrying the entire 5th grade to return from five days. They have spent in snowy, cold Yosemite.
In another five days, I will board a plane to the UK where I will stay with my mother while my elderly father has surgery. After a few days, should everything be stable, I will return to the US where I will meet my husband and two sons who will have coped together at home.
After another five days, my husband will leave for a business trip to Asia and be gone for five weeks. I will take my sons to school, take care of the house, the bills and keep the home fires burning.
I work out that we will be all together for 15 days over a 10-week period.
Maybe. If we’re lucky.
I always knew this point in our lives would come. While it is common for the men to travel for business, when moms have to do it, it throws a spanner in the works.
When mom has stayed at home to this point, being the fulcrum, the stable nucleus around which family things happen, it is discombobulating. It feels precarious.
I’m not sure how these weeks will go.
We will break our necks to make sure that one parent is there for every middle school play performance, classroom open house, swim team event. But one of us will miss every event.
The family of the 21st century is a unit never seen before. Intimately connected by technology and yet geographically displaced.
And there are things technology can’t replace.
And so I find myself living in the land of silicon while emphasizing the personal touch. Jetting back and forth attempting to preserve the family unit.
All of them. In their various permutations.
And I hope it will all come together. One way or another. Fingers crossed.