Wake Up Call

You know when you have something big and important to do but it’s months away so you just continue bopping through life without a care in the world? Yeah. Then one day it hits you that you have precisely seven days to pack for a 10 day trip, finish the required reading for those faculty and graduate presentations, and wrap up your responses to the manuscripts of your workshop peers? Well, friends, that’s precisely where I’m at.

My eyes popped open at 5:00 this morning. My eyes never open at 5:00 unless they are being forcibly pried open by some type of barbaric torture device, erm..I meant to say, by my children. Same difference.

This morning when I rolled over in my (enormous and comfortable king-size) bed, confused by the dim light of early dawn, my face smacked into the boxer-shorts clad rump of my 6-year-old boy. Not quite sure how or when he appeared in our bed, I quietly extricated myself from a tangle of sheets and went downstairs. Let me tell you something, the house is delightfully silent at 5:00 in the morning! Who knew?

I sat at down at the table, wondering what to do with myself. Within seconds I heard it…the pile of manuscripts and reading material screaming at me from the kitchen island. I looked at the calendar, referred to my residency schedule then, having been violently pulled from my state of blissful denial, I looked back to the calendar. I ONLY HAVE SEVEN DAYS?!

I began maniacally shuffling through my residency schedule. Papers were flying. I realized that there is an entire shopping list involved in my 10 days away. My mind began to race. Linens and a fan and shower flip-flops and a bathrobe…snacks and a water bottle and notebooks…actual pajamas because – I might be going out on a limb here – I assume that underwear and a t-shirt isn’t considered acceptable attire when sleeping away from one’s home. In a dorm. I took a moment to ponder the bed I’ll be using. I wondered how they would feel if I arrived with my king-sized bed on a moving truck. You know, to make the room ‘homey’. Page two of the Stonecoast MFA’s suggested packing list for summer residency specifically states, “Anything you need to make your room feel homey, or so you can think and write at your best.” Well, in that case…can I bring my bed? Because the thought of sleeping in a twin dorm room bed is terrifying. Yup. A king size bed and an endless supply of pinot grigio screams ‘homey’.

I pondered what could possibly make a dorm room feel homey, considering I’ve reached an age well past that of the typical dorm room dweller. Gwen shuffled into the kitchen, startling me out of my ‘homey’ induced meditation. The moment her eyes came to rest on my pile of paperwork, she began sobbing uncontrollably. She doesn’t want me to go. So much so that she had some difficulty speaking and breathing through her tears. On my end, there was a fair amount of difficulty removing myself from her vice-like grip. If I was able to pry her arms from my neck, her freakishly strong legs wrapped around me. There might even have been some snot and high-pitched wailing directly into my right ear. In fact, it’s still ringing.

Over the next two weeks I’ll likely be re-posting some older blog entries. I might even try to convince a few people to guest post in my absence. I hope you’ll hang in and visit despite my absence and, if you’re interested in guest posting, let me know.

 I’m off to finish my work, start packing and pay as much attention to the kiddos as I possibly can. Something tells me that I’m going to miss my family.


  1. I’m just so excited for you that I could pee….but I won’t.

    Any blog-help I can offer is just a message away.

    And, kids love to push that guilt-button. I mean, how would you feel if all three said, “See ya!” and then went about their monkey business without a tearful “Oh Mommy, don’t leave us, please!!!”?? They will be fine…and so will you. Better get that bed bug spray that someone suggested though…

    • You’re right, Patty. I would feel awful if they didn’t get just a little eensy bit upset. I’ll hit you up for a guest post at some point during my mad rush to pull everything together. Off to complete my work!

  2. Poor mama! Lucky mama! Everything is a double edged sword after babies, isn’t it? I know just how Gwen feels…but also she will totally get over it. Eye on the prize, my friend!

  3. I’d love to come be your roomie! But can I just hang out all day and not do work? Two 30-something moms of three in a dorm room- now that’s blog material : )
    Seriously, though, I know it must be hard to get yourself there mentally. The kiddos will be fine though. And you’ll be busy and your mind will be occupied and it’ll all be ok. In situations like these I always find that the anxiety leading up to the event is the hardest thing to overcome.

  4. Good luck and enjoy yourself! Once you’re there you’ll be loving every moment; you’re exactly right–it’s the preparation to get there that sucks. If you need a post, let me know, although my posts aren’t exactly in No. 7’s general vein. I’m at your disposal, but I do look forward to reading a few oldies but goodies!

  5. Good luck and enjoy yourself! Once you’re there you’ll be loving every moment; you’re exactly right–it’s the preparation to get there that sucks. If you need a post, let me know, although my posts aren’t exactly in No. 7’s general vein. I’m at your disposal, but I do look forward to reading a few oldies but goodies!

  6. Thinking of you as you do your mad rush around for the next seven days. I can’t wait to hear how it goes. My advice for making something “homey” if you can’t get approval on your king bed…a candle that smells of cookies baking. =)


  7. Have fun, Kelli! I know it’s hard to be away from your family, but I bet you will enjoy it when you aren’t worrying about what’s going on at home.

  8. I am so excited for you!!! Yes, you have lots to do and the next few weeks will probably pass in a blur, but then it will be over and you’ll have a residency under your belt.

    AND… just think of all the blog fodder living in a dorm will create. Oh yes, you will return with stories, I am sure.

  9. I hate this stage of “a big decision”: the week or so before it starts when you start to freak out and think you made the wrong choice. In the end, I think it will be thrilling, inspiring, wonderful time away, but I know it can be hard to think that now!

  10. This is so exciting! We will miss you. Have fun. Write lots! We will hold down the fort while you are gone.

  11. Saying I’m proud of you is an understatement. I’m proud and excited and anxious and well, mainly just proud. You’re going to do awesome…I just know it. I hope the preparations go well and that everything comes together perfectly.

    I went through a phase (hell, it lasted nearly a lifetime) when I hated to be away from my mom for any length of time. HATED it. Speaking from experience, Gwen will make it…it’ll be much harder for you than for her. 🙁 Sorry, girl.

  12. Kelli you are amazing and it will go swimmingly! 🙂 I know your feeling though. Tonight just leaving for work was heart-wrenching. We’d gone to Cars 2 and my little guy was still up, standing in the door to the garage waving and yelling, “Sleep tight at work mommmmyyyyy!!!” (Haha he still thinks I sleep when I’m here, can’t imagine that somebody actually stays up all night ON PURPOSE.)

    It was so sad because every time I would depress the gas pedal he would yell it once again, a little louder, just in case I didn’t hear the first 30 yells. I got halfway down the street before Doug was able to corral him back into the house, and even then I was sure I could hear him IN MY HEART. :/

    Or was that the echo reverberating off my poor next-door neighbor’s house? Either way, I bet it was harder for me than for him.

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