One Week to Go and I Am Already Missing Them

So....I made the crazy decision this spring to go to this year's BlogHer conference in Chicago and now the day to leave is just one week away.

I'm traveling up with my some of my fave people, the #BigDealMoms (we're cooking up some ideas to launch over here this fall) and I know that BlogHer will be a whirlwind of fun and swag (in equal proportions).

There's been some angst in the blogosphere about BlogHer and what to do, what to wear, who to talk to, etc; I read this let's all take a collective deep breath post about shedding our adolescent baggage at PopDiscourse yesterday and found myself nodding along. My dear friend Em pointed me to it (thanks, girl); she's just a wee bit excited about BlogHer herself.

My trip to BlogHer is more about getting away for the weekend with some very good friends than anything else (oh, and that finding a literary agent thing, too, if I'm going to be totally honest).

The truth is that I've never been away from my kids for more than a night except for (3) rare occasions: going to the hospital to have #2 and #3, and last January when I took my Girl Scout troop for a camping overnight.

It's not that I haven't wanted to get away (oh please, don't we all desperately want/need/crave a good night's sleep without all the bedtime drama, the laundry that waits to be folded, the homework to check and lunches to pack, and the always fun middle-of-the-night hollers for MAAAA-MEEEEE!!!), it's simply that the logistics of getting away when you have three kids in four-and-a-half years and you move twice during that time because of two job changes makes planning and executing a weekend away a bit tricky.

Just this week, I started dropping into the phrase, "When I'm in Chicago next week," into my daily conversations with the kids to get them ready for my absence. Their eyes get wide when they hear it and then they pepper me with questions, mostly of the who's-gonna-cook-us-dinner* sort, but so far they've rolled with it.

And me?

I am hugging them a bit closer, a bit longer. I am more attentive to their small discoveries they rush to share with me. And I have sought to be a more peaceful and less impatient mom.

I'm mostly succeeding; hey, I'm not perfect and neither are they (dear Lord, when will my 3.5 year old decide that pants are not the agent of the devil?!). I'm digging deep to those reserves of love and kindness and finding that the well is truly infinite even if the rope is sometimes frayed.

And I'm looking forward to some wicked good fun with my #BigDealMoms girls - BlogHer, here we come!

*In all honestly, kiddos, Mom will still be cooking you dinner via meals I'm cooking ahead and freezing. And I suspect there will be an abundance of new Happy Meal toys around the house and pizza boxes in the trash when I return.