While The Cat’s Away…
Alexandra is traveling and working in Europe and the Middle East, while I hold down the home front. My days fill with work and children, cooking and cleaning, work and children, and more cooking.
The phone rings and it’s a call from Israel. We spend the next thirty minutes discussing the day here, the day there. Then it’s back to feeding the kids, feeding the dogs…. How does she do this on top of her own busy schedule?
A text come in, it reads like this from my son, working as her correspondent: “Pls come up with some clothes for mama me I’ll wear black suit.” So on top of it all, I read between the lines and realize they are tired of the clothes they’ve worn for the past 10 days and need something for an upcoming event. I have to put together a fashion statement for the glamour girl. I gather some thoughts and wonder if black with black will count as a summer color.
Then another text reads: “Her phone still refuses to send texts. iMessage not working.” Petya helpfully texts this from her phone, not his, just to let me know she’s having trouble connecting with business contacts if her phone is not working properly. What am I to do about this news? Let’s think this through. I just received a text from a phone that cannot text. Should I call the service provider and let them know that the international plan has caused our phones to text… while being unable to text?
I must be losing something in translation. Whenever we have time to talk in the US, it’s past their bedtime. Whenever they have time to talk, it’s the middle of the night here. It doesn’t help when she tries to fit 22-hour days on top of already-tired travelers such as herself and our son.
The phone rings as if to say, if you think we have a few problems, I’ve got more news and items for you to handle. She has a way with delegation and I see that our son has become her right-hand man, placing calls, prepping for her news conferences, talking with her attorney, as well as myself. This time, the voice on the other end informs me that Mama wants to talk to the “little boys”. This means our two Scotties. I fetch the sleeping fur balls and place the phone at their ears. One by one they begin to wag their tails as they hear her voice from afar.
Soon she will be home. I know of no one who can handle so much business in so many languages, traveling, touching down with her feet running, moving from city to city with rapid-fire movement. She lands back in the US after being in a couple of continents in 24 hours, doing a week’s worth of running around in each, before driving 9 hours to her next destination rather than waiting another day for another flight.
The rental car place informs their gold card member that she grabbed the wrong car from the right spot, but she’s off again, arriving at one of our homes well after midnight, Petya pinching her all the way as she fights to stay awake. With a few hours’ sleep she’s up again before anyone else and happily joins everyone for breakfast, dogs in doggy heaven, children content and happy to have her home.
I’ve gone nowhere, but am exhausted, with my own work to handle. And now we’ll switch places before undertaking yet another adventure. We’re a modern family with old-world values… and somehow… it works.
———-Tags: Alexandra on business abroad, business in Israel, business in Russia, iPhone not working abroad, Mr. Mom handles the homefront, wife's business travels