Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Solo in Portland

I'm here for work, staying in a nice hotel.  I've a big, pristine bed with white linens and no cats or cat hair on it, and a deep clean gleaming bathtub at my disposal.  It's 12.26 in the night Baltimore time, 9.26pm in Portland.  I miss my kids.

I've spent the day being shocked by the fact that the old Me, the pre-kid, pre-marriage one, is resuscitate-able under these rarified conditions.  In an academic setting, on my own, I revert to someone I vaguely remember being.  I drink several cups of coffee, I walk everywhere and do it quickly, I don't clock-watch, impatiently, as there is no rush to get anyone from preschool.  I eat dessert, in the open, where anyone can see me do it.  But: I miss my kids.

It's a surprise that I've met a person or two at the workshop who seems quite interesting (yes, I'm an arrogant, misanthropic twit).  One person and I got to talking about work, but then about our kids.  His son is 12.  He asked the ages of my kids (5 and 3). 
"Oh!" he said, "I can't imagine!  Department Chair, and Kids So Young and getting away to a workshop!  I couldn't have done that!" 
In my heart his comment translates as  "I shouldn't be here.  I should be with my kids."

Of all the things I do, they are the most important.  Should I be here?  I'm enjoying being here.  But I feel guilty.  And:  I miss my kids.

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