I rarely have plans on the weekends anymore. Unless you count kids’ sports and birthday parties and laundry. Then, yes, my weekends are packed.
And yet, as social karma would have it, I had two exciting places to be this past weekend, without kids, at the same time.
I was so excited to be attending the inaugural BlogU conference as a faculty member and meeting all of my blogging friends who live inside my computer. I had known for months that the weekend of June 6-8 was all about getting myself and my laptop to Baltimore. Nothing was getting in my way.
Except my college reunion, apparently. Same weekend. Four states away.
Oh, and my daughter’s dance recital.
Suddenly, the girl who never has fun plans had signed up for more simultaneous fun than she could handle.
No matter, I decided. Yes, the logistics were daunting, but I could make this happen. Even if it meant that I would be attending more on-campus events in a weekend than I did in my entire college career.
And so began the five stages of planning to leave without my kids for the weekend.
1) Unbridled Enthusiasm: I have real-life adult plans! I’m going away! I’m not packing Goldfish or doing laundry. I am showering two days in a row. My husband will feel the intense, serial pain of the Minivan Frozen Singalong Marathon while I forget that Elsa and Anna ever existed. I will not gaze at my yoga pants for 48 consecutive hours. Oh, it’s on.
2) Complications: Hmmm, these logistics are a little tricky with the three kids. Yes, my husband is highly competent and honestly did not flinch when I mentioned something about smoke coming off my heels and getting the fuck out of here for a weekend. Of course he can handle everything. Oh wait, the recital has a dress rehearsal too? And my daughter needs a bun in her hair? And maybe it would be fun if he came with me to the reunion. And there’s gymnastics and that birthday party too. Wait, am I driving from New Jersey to Baltimore to Connecticut to New Jersey? That’s, like, 773 traffic hours.
3) Empowerment: I called in my resources. Not just friends to assist, but also my ace in the hole.
“Hi, Mom? Can you help us please?”
It takes a village, they say. Bullshit. It takes NASA-level mission execution. If I could get these logistics to run smoothly, I would immediately be qualified to run a medium-sized nation.
Or, I could be paid to write SAT questions:
You have two cars in your possession, one of which is your mother’s and has no car seats. Your husband and your mother need to be in two separate pick up points, 12 miles apart, within 6 minutes of each other. All three children require legally secure seating. There is a booster, a front-facing convertible seat and a rear-facing infant seat. Two of the three can be installed via seat belts if necessary.
How would you configure the seating?
Who drives which car?
**Extra credit: Can your mother find the dress rehearsal location without cursing in front of your daughter?**
4) It’s Nottttt Worrrrrrth It: This stage of planning lasted for about six consecutive hours the night before departure. Right about when I realized that my kids were all well accounted for, the groceries were purchased and I even had contingency-super-secret-plan-B-double-backup-plans to get everyone to their respective activities — but I somehow didn’t have clean clothes to wear, gas in my car or a working phone charger. It would just be easier to stay home. Maybe I’ll just skip it all. It’s just a conference and a college reunion. I can go to those things anytime/in 20 years. Plus the couch is so comfortable and who else will polish off this kettle corn if I leave for the weekend?
5) Fuck It, I’m Outta Here: Goodbye, yoga pants and van and birthday party and gymnastics and dress rehearsal and laundry and Elsa and Anna. I hope whatever I packed at 1:00am sort of matches in the light of day.
And so I did. I did some speed-socializing during the one night I had at BlogU and slept in a dorm without getting written up for any infraction by an RA. I took long car rides and had a glorious solo train stint in there as well. I saw great old friends from college on the second night (again, did not get written up — this is now a personal best for me). I overdosed on nostalgia, realized that Spanx should really be the official sponsor of all reunions, ever, and made it home to grab a few hours of sleep before Sunday morning’s dance recital.
Now to unpack and get the house back in order. Give me another week or two.