Jan. 8, 2014 at 10:25 AM ET
Greetings from somewhere high above you. I'm on a flight bound for Dallas to shoot a story for the TODAY Show. I fly all the time for work, so a trip like this is as routine for me as a making a protein shake: Get to airport, effortlessly navigate my way through the chaos, check in, buy snacks (nuts, water), buy magazines (Vanity Fair, Men's Health, Women's Health), buy an emergency salad in case I become famished on the plane, walk to the gate, forget which gate it is and fish around for my boarding pass, send out a few emails, type while I'm walking, bump into someone who immediately hates me as a result (I don't blame them), call my mom (she loves to hear from me before I take off so she can say "be careful"), board the plane, get situated, check my Twitter feed, text Steph, wait to hear back from Steph, and finally take off.
This particular trip, however, is vastly different. This is my first overnight trip away from Harper Estelle.
Granted, it's only two nights away, and yes, Steph will be home both in the mornings and nights with her, but I'm still having a hard time (read: I'm a wreck). I sat Harper down this morning (4-and-a-half months old, mind you) and explained where I was going and why I was going and how I was going and how much I'd miss her and how I hoped she'd still remember me when I got back and how she had to drink her bottle and try not to poop all over herself and I asked her if she had any questions. I'm sure this is what she heard: blah, blah, blah, blah, BOTTLE, blah blah blah.
Look, I know I'm not the first mom (nor will I be the last), to travel for work with a baby at home. I get that. I also fully acknowledge that Stephanie is going to the Olympics in Sochi, Russia, for five long weeks later this month so my two days away from Harper can hardly compare. But this is my first time going to sleep without kissing her goodnight, without telling her she's my sunshine, my only sunshine, without promising her I'll be right here when she wakes up in the morning. I'm sure in a few months I'll look back on this fairly pathetic moment and laugh, but right now it's awfully UNfunny.
So this morning, I kept to my routine to help make my goodbye a little easier. I went to the gym, ate breakfast, finished packing, and got ready to go. I got all bundled up, walked to the door, kissed Harper goodbye, told her I loved her and walked out, turning around no less than a dozen times to see her precious little face staring at me before I slowly disappeared around the corner (I literally could not walk any slower).
Do I want her to be strong and confident and perfectly OK on her own without her moms checking in 45 times a day? Absolutely. But maybe I'll start that the next time I go away. That reminds me... I should call and check in as soon as I land.