My annual January bachelorette-hood begins tomorrow, when Noel leaves for the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. It's important for him to go -- he sees a ton of movies, files dispatches for the A.V. Club, and builds up a backlog of reviewable content that can be parceled out as the movies are picked up for distribution and released throughout the year. And it's gotten a lot easier to do basic parenting as the kids have gotten older and more self-sufficient.
It's the advanced parenting that has gotten harder. Getting the kids to their various lessons, clubs, and appointments has become increasingly complicated. And I think our kids are probably underscheduled relative to the norm. Noel is the designated picker-upper and chauffeur in our family, although I pitch in wherever needed. So the anxiety for me is remembering to be where I need to be, when I need to be. The fear is a child sitting forlorn waiting for the parent who hasn't come.
Couple that with staffing shortages at my office, increasing panic among my co-workers about being able to carry out our responsibilities, and looming events on the horizon, and the fact is that I can't carry all those concerns around all day. Time to compartmentalize and prioritize. Getting through Sundance with the kids on a regular meal schedule and with no abandoned-on-the-side-of-the-road incidents is job one for the next nine days. A lot of other things will get done, but my phone alarm will be on kid-alert settings for the foreseeable future. So if you could just back-burner that other stuff -- or better yet, take care of it yourself! -- we'll all get through this just fine.