working parent

Leaving on a Jet Plane

I’m getting ready to go out of town for work next week. I’m leaving Monday afternoon to fly to Nashville for a work conference, and I’ll return late Thursday night.  My brain is working non-stop and my anxiety level is high.  It’s a similar experience to when I was preparing for surgery in September, but I think I’m more anxious this time.  Daniel’s schedule is more complicated this week and it’s more complicated for a longer period of time: we have two days of hot lunch supplied by school and two days of lunch packed by us.  Snack to be packed every day.  A field trip to the nearby fire station on Tuesday.  Plus, he is the Star of the Week next week, so each day he is able to bring an item for show and tell as well as a cuddly for quiet time.  On Tuesday, his grandmother is coming to read to the class.  Oh, and I bet we’ll have homework on Monday.

It just feels like so much to keep track of, and I’m trying to get everything sorted and organized for Jimmy so he can handle it effortlessly.  It’s not that I worry about his ability to do it; it’s more that there is so much to keep track of. And this is only Pre-K!

Tomorrow we’ll make the morning snacks for the week as well as the lunches for Monday and Thursday.  I won’t think about what they’ll eat each night for dinner; Jimmy assures me that he can handle that easily. And I need to pack. And figure out what time my flight leaves on Monday. And gather my technology and its related chargers and plugs as well as the last 4 issues of Time magazine I haven’t read.  I’m sure I’ll forget something.

I booked this conference several months ago, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise but here it is! And it is a surprise. All of the thoughts in my brain feel like popcorn popping or marbles ricocheting. I never knew that juggling was a required core competency of parenting, especially when you are a working parent.

But then Monday night, I’ll be settled in my hotel room. No stories to read. No tantrums to manage. No nightly routine to orchestrate.  I’ll feel guilty but free at the same time.  I might work out. I might watch crappy TV. I might read a book. I might play on Twitter. I can do what I want!!!

Half of my heart will be at home, wishing I were dealing with the normal nightly routine while the other half will enjoy the silence.

Oh, and by the way? Daniel’s letter of the week next week is “F.” We’re already thinking of the “F” words for his homework LOL.

You have to laugh, right?