I swear some days it really seems like that good old Hillary was right when she said it takes a village to raise kids.
Man alive, I just have to say I am so incredibly thankful for my "village" of friends who are willing to pick up the slack on carpools while I'm out of town. (Grace had soccer practice and a game, Elle had two Halloween parties, Max had one, the kids had the Primary Program practice, Max had an overnight survival camp, Grace had two late-nights, etc., etc.),
It helps me put in perspective all the stuff that moms do when it takes two hours just to try to figure out rides and arrangements for my kids for one measly night away!
You see, my mom and I got to speak at Time Out for Women in Las Vegas on Saturday.And Dave was in China. (Which also puts in perspective all the things he does to help us stay afloat around here. He's always so willing to drive people where they need to be and pick up things at the grocery store and tuck kids in bed when I'm gone.)
So my very sweet and capable niece who is a senior in high school got the "privilege" of staying with our crazy kids overnight.
I left her with one sheet of instructions I scribbled out while trying to break myself free to get to the airport. She came through it all as graceful as could be (I had no question she would), despite the fact that from what I gather, Lucy threw a spectacular array of tantrums. (She keeps getting more impressive with those things...I guess the magic of turning four didn't turn them off after all, gosh darn it!)
I scrambled to throw my stuff in a suitcase, kiss my kids goodbye, and got frustrated with myself that I still haven't made it to the store to get some new lipstick (I've been borrowing Grace's from her dress-up make-up pack she got for Christmas two years ago for the last couple months).
I was so mired down by all the details I was leaving behind until as I walked along that corridor to my gate it gradually hit me:
There was NO ONE clinging to my legs.
There was NO ONE lagging behind slowly trying to walk and play on my iPhone at the same time.
There was NO ONE fighting or arguing (at least not that I was in charge of).
I had no computer to lug around, no heavy camera bag, no sticky fingers grabbing at me, only one bag to watch out for.
I hate to admit it, because I adore being with my children, but the realization that I was all by myself as I closed in on the gate started to give me a little spring in my step.
Then I started thinking about the fact that I got to go be in an auditorium filled with almost 2,000 wonderful women for a day and a half...which was exactly what I needed right then.
And that thought right there caused me to almost do a little jig (but not really because that would be kinda scary).
I sat in my seat in the airplane and just stared straight ahead and let my brain just think all by itself with no interruptions for the whole flight.
Sometimes I forget how it feels to just sit down and hear nothing but the whir of the airplane engine.
Of course, I knew I'd miss those interruptions soon enough, but right then? I was in Heaven.
I'll have to write more about the inspiration I felt at Time Out later, because man oh man, it was big.
But for now I'll just say I felt so lucky to present with, and be taken care of by these people:(John Bytheway, Ardith Kapp and Dallyn Bayles had already left by the time we took this picture.)
And to have a sweet friend join us there as well:
(So great to see you, Kelli!)
Then to come home to my wonderful "village" all inspired and ready to conquer the world.
If I can only figure out how to have that "high" stick around for a while...