It is funny; I know my children have expressed the sadness of knowing I was gone. I was, for more than ten years gone often. I don’t often tell them, that I understood that pain. My father was gone often and back when he was traveling the world; he was gone for far longer. Three months at a time are often wandering places that needed help setting up a science education program. South Africa, Saudia Arabia, Pakistan. Thailand, Malaysia all countries visited. Although I don’t think dad visited Malaysia other than to visit a friend of the family, actually the others were the ones he went to and was gone for extended periods. I understood the frustration the kids expressed, rarely but from time to time.
You learn quickly when you are out of your land, that the world is different. I made it a point of always calling home at least once a day. At times those calls were more of a lifeline for me, than a conversation. At times they were a life-line for my wife, a moment she could get away from full-time parenting and be part of a partnership. I would say some of those calls were fun when I had to be the bad guy from 12000 miles away. The most important lesson I learned as an elementary school teacher was the need for consistency in discipline. That you have to be the same across the board, variance causes dissent. Dissent causes people to see the world differently.
So be consistent, apply the same rules at all times.
But 12000 miles away the impact is lessened. In that case, you have to be a backup, not the actual threat. Althgouh I do recall “wait until your father gets home.” It is hard when you travel. Looking back the best decision I ever made was moving on, no longer traveling and settling in to view the world from the same place every day. Yes, it can be frustrating to drive an hour one way. But that doesn’t matter if you can be home for dinner every night.
I don’t miss flying either.