Noel took off for Chicago this morning. His colleagues at the A.V. Club have a full two days of brainstorming and planning in store for him, interspersed with cool premieres and book readings.
Luckily, I'm feeling like this week is going to be relatively easy. There are only three days of classes for me -- our fall break is Thursday and Friday. On Tuesday I've canceled my regular class meeting because we're doing an evening videoconference with a class at Creighton, featuring a guest speaker. I have a lot of writing to do (book review, four television write-ups); there's midterm grading happening, and a thousand other administrative tasks that need attention.
But all along I've considered this whole week an extension of my birthday. It might not feel like it until Noel gets home on Wednesday and I'm basking in two days with no students and no classes (and trying, as usual, to get up the motivation to accomplish something under those conditions). Things will really start hopping next week when we're back in class and it's only a few days until the double-whammy of conferences on back-to-back weekend in DC and Montreal (at both of which I have responsibilities, although it's behind the scenes only at the second).
And fortunately the kids are ridiculously easy to handle right now (knock on wood). Cady Gray is thrilled about going to the pumpkin patch tomorrow. As long as I get clothes on their backs and lunches in their hands, my work is done.
So I hope Noel enjoys himself with friends and productive work in Chi-town. I won't be playing all that much, but I also won't be stressed about the solo parenting for the next few days. Now please excuse me while I watch a TV show online ahead of time to avoid a pile up three days hence, then retire to plow through the last 100 pages of the book I'm reviewing tomorrow.