Friday, June 29, 2007


My husband still has not read my blog. Because of the way the universe works, I'm sure tonight, after posting this confession, he will say, "Hey, I want to read what you've been doing. Can I see your blog?" Well then, John, I tell this to you, too, without shame, for what I am going to confess, I earned.

I haven't been doing jack shit this week.

I am the director of a week-long women's writing workshop at the college where I teach. All year long I plan for this thing, doing publicity, updating and printing out mailing lists, courting faculty, balancing budgets. But the week itself? Cake. All I have to do it show up in the morning, set up the book sales table, and maybe make a few photocopies. Then from about 9:30-noon, I do NUTTIN. I have lunch, then from 1:00 - 3:00? Nuttin.

I find a spot in a suite of conference rooms; I plug in my computer; I minimize a page that looks kinda workish in case anyone pops in with a question, and then I goof off on the internet. For 3 hours. 3 HOURS. Do you know how rare a privilege that is? No one at the workshop asks me for a snack. No one begs to play outside. No one whines about bunchy socks, or writhes in boredom at my feet, or attacks a sibling from behind with a plastic golf club. No one drools on my pants or attempts to dive into my shirt through the top of the v-neck.

And there are pastries. Every morning. A whole tray of pastries beside big thermoses of coffee, and the thermoses are refilled all day long. The workshop participants go into their sessions and leave me alone with this bounty. No one is around to see that I have eaten 2 danishes. Then 3. Then maybe, at 11 o'clock, just cause there is no other snack available, one more danish and another cup of coffee with a little splash of decaf in it cause I'm just healthy that way.

After a year of planning this thing, of putting up with all the minutiae of organizing a conference, this week is my reward. I EARNED this. Am I ashamed? I am not. Have I been forthcoming about my week with my family? I have not. I have protected this idleness from any requests that may rain down upon me if family members realize that I have spent more than 20 minutes occupied with something other than family business.

Today is Friday, the last day of the workshop. In some ways I am happy that this is my last day of work for the rest of the summer. I have all of July and half of August free, with mountains of time to goof off with the kids. I do love days like that, days when we loaf in our pajamas until 10 and then slowly make our way to the library or the store or the park.

But this time next week, when I am sitting with Paige in the pee-warmed baby pool, watching the boys splash around in the big pool and out-yell any other children within a 5 mile radius, when they pad over to beg for .75 cents to buy a miniature bag of Sun Chips, I am going to close my eyes and visualize this conference room with its shiny table, its fake crystal chandelier, and its carefully arranged pitchers of ice water, and I am going sigh for the loss of this idleness, these hours of reading Perez Hilton and playing Scrabble Cubes. And then I am going to take a deep breath, look at my adorably soggy children and say, "NO! We JUST. HAD. LUNCH."


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