By Rachel Beck
The Associated Press
White Plains, NY
Micheal Lorelli recalls how he used to take time away from business trips to actually visit the cities where he was staying.
Eighty countries later the corporate executive is more interested in getting home to his wife and two daughters than seeing another tourist spot.
“Its hard to be working and traveling and to leave the family behind,” said Lorelli, a division president of tampon maker Tambrands Inc. in White Plains, N.Y. “Now, I Try to be productive and efficent when I’m away. I want to get home.”
Lorelli, with 20-plus years in the corporate world, andhis family have much experience at dealing with the stress and sadness caused by a parent’s business trips. So he’s written a children’s book, “Traveling Again, Dad?”, a somewhat autobiographical account of a traveling parent and the family left behind. Told through the eyes of the pet hamster, Awsome, the story tracks Dad’s departure, from the final family diner before the trip to his much-anticipated return.
“We’re all a little sad, ’cause Dad needs to go away for a whole week,” Awsome says in the story.
“Dad explained that being away from the family now and then was part of his job. Lots of moms and dads have to travel for work.”
Illustrations done by Drew Struzan, the creator of E.T. for the Stephen Spielberg film, show Dad daydreaming about home while sitting through his meetings. His kids, meanwhile, anxiously wait for his return.
And Struzan also included many details from real life, including “I Miss You” faxes and mapsplotting his stops that Lorelli’s daughters, Karen, 15, and Elizabeth, 13, made while he was traveling.