Michaela Merz

The T-Shirt

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I am regularly away on business. Sometimes more often, sometimes less, sometimes just in the next city and sometimes on a different continent. I like my work very much and consider myself very privileged to be that lucky.

With business travels it’s different. Usually when I have to stay away over night, I have a bad conscience because of my youngest one. The fate of working mums. It is impossible to satisfy everyone. I know it and nevertheless I try it again and again.

I am back from NY and sort my things. Then I open my wardrobe and pull out the drawer where I store my T shirts, turtleneck pullovers and shirts. The content of the drawer is in chaos. As if someone had thrown out the entire content, put it on the floor, had tramped over it and then had put it back to the drawer. Everything is mixed up, crumpled and hardly to be used. I cannot think of any explanation but since there is not anyone I could ask I leave it well alone.

After half an hour my youngest one comes and greets me enthusiastically, how only small children and dogs can do it. We tell each other things and are both glad that we have each other again.

But suddenly he gets thoughtful and says: “Mummy, I missed you very much and I was very sad”. My bad conscience nourished with such comment grows to the size of a mammoth in this moment, which blocks the throat and feels very unpleasant. My youngest one continues “Because I was so sad, I took your T shirts out of your wardrobe, took them to my bed and slept with them”, he finishes and looks at me with large, sad eyes.

Now it was clear how the content of my wardrobe had come to damage. After that night he had put all T shirts back to my drawer. No, I cannot be angry. Just the monster in form of a bad conscience for sure will be a bit bigger when I am travelling the next time.

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