Priorities: Family Comes First

I write this post 30,000 feet in the air.

 Family Comes First.  Those are the words that our principal spoke to me on the phone when I apprised her of my situation.

So why am I so torn?

I am suspended, yet moving forward, over the ocean.

In front of me my family waits.  Behind me my family waits.

I am in the middle.

Then, running parallel to these two worlds is the work I’ve left behind. Most significantly, the culmination of weeks of effort is taking place even as I write: The Science Fair.

A huge unknown will greet me.  A situation that fills me with sadness, grief, fear, and dread.

My day-to-day world marches on behind me.  My teenagers in the middle of IB exams.  My husband and youngest son going about their routine.

The Science Fair is in full swing right now.  I’m imagining the energy and excitement of the students.  I’m imagining them dressed in their best.  I hope it’s going as planned. 

My brother will pick me up at the airport and we’ll go straight to the hospital.

My teenagers are probably working IB math problems right now.  My youngest son is presenting his poster on the effect of global warming on the reindeer.  My husband is helping, in my place, at the Science Fair.

I’m over the ocean.  Helpless to all.

When I land, the Science Fair will be nearly over.  I will be faced with immediate decisions and tasks that will consume me.  My family at home will talk with me later at night, telling me of their day. 

I will function between two worlds that I love.  The third world, one that I also love, will move forward based on all the guidance I have left on my web site and the help of colleagues and substitutes. 

I sit in my airplane seat, strapped in by the seat belt.  This has been a very turbulent flight, matching the turbulent direction of thoughts in my mind- from what lies ahead to what lies behind.   And the lingering concern of the Science Fair and the extra burden added to my colleagues.

I work with amazing individuals who have completely and willingly taken on extra duties to compensate for my absence. They give me license to focus on what is most important.  They know and understand that “family comes first”.  Thank you, thank you, dear colleagues, my friends.