Next week I head to a writing retreat with my writing group. The repetition of the word “writing” is intentional. Writing writing writing. I’m going to write! Hurrah! On the rugged coast of Maine, in a rambling house with nooks and alcoves galore, filled with history and books. The three days beckon to me like one of those pools of astonishingly turquoise water in the midst of dark blue ocean, an atoll where suddenly the filaments of brown sea grass reaching up to entangle you are gone, and the rough, fish-filled coral reef parts, and there is nothing but light, undulating sand beneath clear water. Ahhh.
But there’s still some swimming to do, against the current, to get there. Here’s why, in a verbatim transcript of emails between me, my Next Doors counterpart Kathy, and my husband J, during a two hour span a few days ago. I swear I’m not making this up.
June 2, 2014 at 11:05 am. Email from me to Kathy. Subject: weekend of June 20
Hey, I don’t want to forget to do some planning for when I’m at my writing retreat. No need to read this now, just want to figure it out at some point.
I will leave during the daytime on Thursday the 19th. Will need to figure out how to get K to (and from) piano. (I’d have her miss it but she’s part of a recital that Saturday so could use the lesson.) Will need S pick-up.
Friday, J can do drop off, but there will be pick-up needed. Can K hang with you guys until J is home? Or I can arrange a playdate for her. (There’s no more French class.)
I’m happy to see if Julie or a local teen can help out for any of this. Just let me know what’s feasible on your end, and I’ll fill in any gaps.
S has a birthday party on Saturday morning when J and K are at karate, but Jessie’s babysitter will take her and Jessie. There’s a Chhandika dance recital so he’ll take both girls there on Sunday morning.
I’ll be back mid- to late-afternoon on Sunday. You know, if I decide to come back.
June 2, 2014 at 11:09 am. Response from Kathy to me:
Heh? I can’t even process this. It’s Monday!
June 2, 2014 at 11:10 am. From me to husband J. Subject: writing retreat.
Just want to make sure these dates are in your brain somewhere. I’ll be at writing retreat, leaving Thursday the 19th daytime. I’ll figure out coverage, as always, but could you drop off S on Friday the 20th morning? Please put in your calendar. Now. Thank you.
(Yes, I know this is our anniversary. We need to find an alternate day to go out. How about Saturday the 28th?
K is to be part of a piano recital on Saturday the 21st, but I don’t yet know what time.
Sunday the 22nd there’s an open house/recital thingy at dance.
I know, complicated weekend for me to be away.
June 2, 2014 at 11:11 am. From me to Kathy:
I TOLD you there was no need to read this now!
June 2, 2014 at 12:10 pm. From husband J to me:
What is the dance recital timing?
June 2, 2014 at 12:17 pm. From me to J:
Hmm, I don’t know yet. Need to find out. Also that of piano recital.
June 2, 2014 at 12:19 pm. From J to me:
OK, I have multiple conflicts the morning of 7/28: Karate and a seminar I’m attending in Boston.
June 2, 2014 at 12:26 pm. From Kathy to me:
Okay, now that I’ve had some coffee…
Th 6/19: There’s a soccer potluck from 5:30 to 7:00. Would be happy to take both your kids to this with us. What time is piano again? L and I could take K to piano, then pick up little ones and head to potluck.
Fr 6/20: Can pick up all four kids, though if Kung Fu is back on (which is questionable), I will have to take K with us before getting little ones.
June 2, 2014 at 12:28 pm. From me to J:
Huh? Do you mean 6/28? June 28 is when you seem to be at a conference, according to calendar. I can take K to karate. Could we still do dinner that evening? Or does your conference include evening?
June 2, 2014 at 12:32 pm. From me to Kathy:
Th 6/19: Piano is 3:30 to 4:00. Yipes, four kids at potluck? Will M [Mr. Next Doors] be with you?
Fr 6/20: why don’t I just arrange a playdate for K. That will simplify something at least. Adding this to my list.
June 2, 2014 at 12:36 pm. From Kathy to me. Subject: Confirming Julie…
…to watch little ones on 6/30 and 7/1 from 9:00 to 3:00? What about nap time? Should we just have her stay until 1:30? Don’t want to push E’s nap later.
June 2, 2014 at 12:38. From me to J:
Ok, I found out the piano recital timings. It will be 1:15 to 2:30 on Saturday 6/21. You can pick up S from her friend’s b’day party at 1:00 and head over. (She will have eaten, and will be taken to party by Jessie’s babysitter.) The teacher will put K toward the beginning so that if S gets antsy and needs nap, you’ll be able to leave. The whole thing should end at 2:30, in case she can stick it out for the “awards.”
June 2, 2014 at 12:44. From me to Kathy:
Wait, that’s a whole nuther set of plans! We can say 9:00 to 1:30, that’s fine. She can put E down before she leaves, and I can put S down and take the monitor until you get home.
I’ve asked my Julie about 7/2, she’s checking with her employers and will get back to me.
June 2, 2014 at 12:46 pm. From Kathy to me:
Ha! I guess I shouldn’t tell you that M will be away for 5 days in July?
June 2, 2014 at 12:58 pm. From me to Kathy:
July?? July doesn’t exist.