“Daddy, why is mommy always gone?”
My daughter posed this question to my husband last week. Although when he relayed it, it felt like I swallowed an unbearable lump of coal, trying to hold back the tears of missing my little girl, his response made me take pause.
He told her that I was really good a school. Teaching adults and kids, going to school, and presenting about what I am learning and doing.
“Mom’s really good at what she does, huh?”
He told her that yes, I am.
Even though I spent the better part of March and April teaching, doing grad coursework, and presenting at conferences, I hoped that my daughter would see that what I do is in (a big) part for her.
I want her to see the value of education, that women can do anything men can (including become doctors), and that even though I go through insanely busy times in my career, I also find overwhelming joy in building a lego castle, coloring pages at the dining room table, and watching her kick her legs “so high” when she swings outside.
— Jen (@jenlivlaughlove) March 13, 2016
The question stung, but I knew that in just a week, my nights would be reserved for Barbies and ballerinas. In a few more weeks, my number one task is chilling at the pool with a Diet Coke and my baby girl.
Last week, I was on the presentation circuit, but next weekend, she will be on stage in her tap and ballet shoes with that million dollar smile.
When she looks back on these years, I want her to know that when I was at work, I was happy. I love what I do. When I am with her, I am overjoyed as well. You can have it all, girl. Sometimes you can’t have it all at once, but the world is in your reach. I want her to know that even when I am gone.