I left the boys last weekend to attend a KidLit conference in Bellingham. The weekend was bliss—a good, long car ride with a great friend, meeting about 50 new friends, hearing well-published authors say that they have no idea what they’re going to write tomorrow, hugging my favorite college prof, and best of all: a hotel room all to myself. A bed the size of Jupiter. I didn’t even care when the heater woke up and performed an exorcism on itself at 2AM. It just meant I got bonus wee-hours reading time in a bed so big I had to mapquest my way out of it.
It was even easier to get away for a couple days knowing I had left my boys well taken care of at home. The only thing on the list for Kevin was “FEED KIDS FRUITS AND VEGETABLES.” I left the crisper brimming with vegetables, the fruit bowl stocked, and I prepped a batch of shrimp scampi to toss with some fresh pasta. I even left the boys’ favorite pancake recipe open on the counter.
I don’t know what I thought would happen. I guess I saw myself coming home around dinnertime on Sunday to the boys sitting around the dinner table, eating shrimp scampi, drinking wine, and quoting Shakespeare to each other.
Instead, the only signs anyone had eaten at all was a caveman sized box of Honeycomb on the counter that looked like it had been chewed open. I peered inside. Empty but for a handful of cereal dust that they were maybe saving for dessert. I took stock of the kitchen. There was the fruit bowl, still overflowing with fruit. There was the crisper, not a single fingerprint upon it. There was container of shrimp scampi sitting next to the box of fresh pasta, though I guess by then it was not-so fresh pasta.
Sigh. I raised an eyebrow at Kevin and said, “What about the to-do list?”
He shrugged and told me I probably shouldn’t leave them alone together again.
And I’d consider it. I really would. But I keep thinking of that hotel room, sitting there completely empty but for the possessed heater and the bed so big it has a gravitational pull.* I miss that room and I know, somehow, that that room misses me.
In the words of another author, the king bed is calling, and I must go.
But not until I reset the boys’ digestive tracts.
WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Salad (my usual)
*Yes, I know everything has a gravitational pull. But it really mucks up the writing to say, “…and the bed so big it has a bigger gravitational pull than most other objects on planet Earth