Last year I decided that this year had to be different. I decided that some important family events had to go onto the calendar first. So I took my permanent marker and wrote down some family things in red. I followed this up by making airline and hotel reservations which could not easily be canceled. It is a good thing I did. Because I am approaching the first of these red lettered events and the back of my brain keeps flooding the front of my brain with hundreds of small reasons why I should shift or cancel the trip. The front of my brain pats it gently, says “there, there,” and gets on with the business of preparing for the trip.
So I’m leaving for a trip on Wednesday. I’m taking the younger pair of kids while leaving the older pair with Howard. They will get to have adventures in doing daily routine when mom is not there. I will get to step outside my regular routine and do something different.
(“But we like our routine.” moans the back of my brain. “Routine is what makes it work and we’ve just gotten it going after all that holiday and Howard being sick. You’re disrupting every thing and Howard won’t be able to get his work done.”
Pat. Pat. We’re going anyway.)
Gleek and Patch are thrilled about this trip. They’ve been counting down for the last month. They get to fly on an airplane! And go to an aquarium! And play at Grandma’s house! And miss school!
(“It is all going to cost so much, and the next pre-order won’t open until April.”
Pat. Pat. We budgeted for this.)
I will get to go visit with my parents and with my Grandmother who is turning 90 on Saturday. I will have time to do some writing while the kids play with Grandpa’s bag of toys. I will also get to go to the aquarium and be fascinated by the creatures which inhabit the wet portions of our planet. I will relax.
(“At the very least you ought to do a business event. There are people you could contact. You should make the most of this opportunity.”
Pat. Pat. The point of a family trip is to get away from work, not bring it with me.)
Kiki and Link are less thrilled that I am going, but they are reconciled because we intend to take them with us to GenCon in August. I think they will discover new responsibility and possibly a new appreciation for all the invisible tasks I do for them that neither they nor I notice because it is so habitual.
(“You’re abandoning your children. You’re going to miss that scheduling meeting for Kiki. Patch is going to miss his 100 day celebration. You should have scheduled this for a different time.”
Pat. Pat. I can’t move my Grandmother’s birthday. It will be fine.)
I’ll admit I am not looking forward to the air travel itself. Keeping two kids entertained in an airport and during a 2 hour flight is a high energy activity. I need to do some advanced planning. Not only that, but the back brain has an abundance of worst case scenarios involving everything from minor inconvenience to major tragedy.
(No. Just stop. We’re thinking of something else now.)
But come Monday I will be back. I will be glad to be back. I will be glad that I went. I will have a head full of new thoughts. I will have spent time where the weather is warmer and the ground doesn’t have snow. When I come back it will no longer be January. It is going to be a good trip. The back of my brain will shut up once the trip has begun. I just have to make it through until time to go.