Tomorrow morning at the wee hour of 4 a.m. I'll be zooming out of here to the airport for another year of AWP, this year, all the way in Seattle. I am so happy that I am not in the state of mental breakdown that I was in at this time last year. I have not been dreaming about flies hatching out from underneath my fingernails, and no one in my immediate family has suffered from a kidney stone this week. Given those two things, I'm in paradise.
I am reading my work TWICE at this year's conference - first as part of the River Teeth 15th Anniversary Reading (I'll be excerpting "Country Boys, City Boys") and then later that night as part of the WordFarm/Rock&Sling/and someone else poetry extravaganza (planning to read "Making the Bed" from PBB). It's going to be a busy conference, with two dinners/parties for River Teeth and the MFA Program, plus readings and signings and meetings galore. PLUS I am staying with two of my favorite writer friends! We will be... Sleepless... in Seattle.
This is the first time in recent history that my children have been sad that I am leaving. I feel a little bad because... well... I'm not sad that I am leaving. ha ha ha. I AM sad that they were sad at bedtime - Lydia even cried. I held her for a long time until she got sleepy. Henry told me, "Don't go to work, Mom," which darn near broke my heart. Why don't they do this when Brandon leaves? He's gone ALL THE TIME. (Well, not all the time. But, he certainly travels more frequently than I do.) Of course I'll miss them. Of course. But MAYBE, it's time for mama to get out of Ashland and see her writerly friends.
At any rate, three little love letters are waiting on the counter for them when they wake up. And there will be Skype sessions ahead for the three little people, too. I will get my fill of writer egos, black clothes, books, and bars, and happily return ready for hugs and kisses from the sweet ones.
My husband, on the other hand, I will miss terribly, miss him already because he's working tonight in Cleveland. Sigh. Excuse me for one second, but how good is it to be loved and to love? It's a good kind of missing happening. I already can't wait to see him on Sunday.
And now I am off to sleep as much as I can before 4 a.m. Egads.