As I am preparing for my third trip without Malik this year, I realise that it hasn't grown any easier. I feel anxious leaving him, as I did the first time. As a mother of a toddler, it's very difficult (if not impossible) to completely detach. To fully embrace the fact that we will be physically inaccessible to him.
But I do realise I manage better than I did the first time. I know that this is a carefully calculated choice with his well-being first in mind. I know that his father is every bit as good a parent as I am (if not even better in certain (emergency) situations). I know that having an active mother (hopefully) will contribute to his emotional development. And I consciously accept all the consequences, along with the fact that I can never have it all.
It's human to emotionally feel one thing and rationalise it with a 'cost-benefit' assessment. Not exactly finding a balance, more of accepting the consequence of a decided set of priorities and managing counter-productive psychological responses towards them (whoah, that's a mouthful).
But yeah, I'm learning. Sigh.
On the lighter side of things, logistically everything is set. Flight, accommodation, scheduled session, workshop paraphernalia, packing.
Intermezzo: I'm an early packer, I don't like forgetting things on the last day as it adds unnecessary stress - an imprint of my mother. Arya, on the other hand, packs the night before - not unlike another beloved (hello, Dad!). So I should get by just fine. It's not my own comfort than I'm actually shifty about.
What I've figured so far is: leaving loved ones does not get any easier with the amount of time I travel. The emotional attachment remains the same. I just learn how manage, set aside, and prioritise better. Which is a handy skill, don't you think?
Compartmentalisation training: level 3.