So now I’m in Germany. And seriously, I don’t know what the time zone is, or what the hell I’m doing here. I really just want to be home. I got into a fight with my wife in the airport. I hate that. We argued because when I called her, she asked me about presents for the kids, and I basically said I’d deal with it when I could. She got a little pissy about how I should buy real gifts for the kids, and I kind of went off on how I was tired and so on. Then she went off on how hard she’s had it and so on. Then we hung up. She called me back a few minutes later and started in again, so I hung up. Then I called back a few minutes later and we had an OK conversation.
The whole thing reminded me of the scene from Saving Private Ryan when the guy (I think it’s Nathan Fillian) gets told that his brothers are dead, and he freaks out. But it turns out that it’s not John Patrick Ryan they’re talking to, but John Francis Ryan. Then the guy says that maybe it’s a mistake, and maybe his brother actually is dead. And he just sits there saying “I gotta get home, I gotta get home.”
OK, this is nothing like that. But it feels like it a little. I gotta get home. My kids are there, and my second, a girl now 5 1/2, cries bitterly whenever I’m on the phone with her because she misses me so much. And my 3-year-old son won’t really talk to me. All he says is, “I don’t miss you, daddy.” But the wife told me he was basically sitting by the door for a good while yesterday waiting for me to come through it. Presents don’t make up for absence. Whoever made up that term “quality time,” was making up excuses for busy people. For the last 7 years that I’ve been a parent, the one thing I’m absolutely sure of is the necessity of quantity time. Just spending time with the children. Each one. Lots and lots of time. And there’s no such thing as too many hugs, or too many kisses.
Whoever says that traveling for business is fun has never done it. It sucks.
I’m a good parent. A good father. And right now I feel like a shitty one.