Tomorrow morning, before the crack of dawn, Noel will head out into the remnants of Gustav on his yearly trip to the Toronto International Film Festival. It's a journey I know he looks forward to every September. Undiscovered cinematic gems, Vietnamese noodle bowls, street hot dogs, and late night poker games with fellow critics await him. (Even later nights trying to blog every film of the festival probably are anticipated less avidly.)
Here at home, my stint as a single mother should not be nearly as difficult as in years previous, at least in the scheduling. Both kids are in school from 8 am to 3 pm, leaving me a generous window for office hours and teaching. The grandparents will be here on Sunday to take over the drop-offs and pick-ups for a few days. And Noel is spending one less day in Toronto than usual, which gives us a cushion of almost 24 hours before I have to leave to spend the weekend on retreat with my department's incoming students.
Once Noel is back from Toronto and I'm back from Petitjean Mountain, we have about a month before the next spate of travel -- which is all me. I'm going to Aarhus, Denmark to deliver a paper at an international conference in mid-October, then less than two weeks later it's time to go to the American Academy of Religion annual meeting in Chicago. In between I'm having to skip my usual visit to the National Collegiate Honors Council annual meeting because of the back-to-back conferences.
I really love traveling alone on academic business, and I know Noel loves the freedom and immersion in adult concerns, too. Because the logistical hurdles aren't as great as in years past, I don't feel nearly as stressed about the time on my own -- which means I can wish Noel a pleasant trip with real sincerity.