Also, the travel. There's been a lot of travel. I have become intimately acquainted with the airport. If you need to know what gate at the Atlanta airport you really want to be in [Terminal T] and where the Jamba Juice is [Also, interestingly, Terminal T] I'm your man.
The travel has been done primarily solo with K holding down the fort and family coming in town and pitching in but the other weekend for a book reading tour with the fantastic Jasmine Warga and Becky Albertalli in Athens and Asheville, the kids and K agreed to be my entourage and we loaded up the minivan and went on a mini road trip.
Our first stop was Athens for the completely lovely Avid Bookshop for the first book reading.
And then after a night of some great Taqueria del Sol, we started up the morning exploring the University of Georgia which is a really beautiful campus with a great downtown. And we snapped this photo in front of what turned out to be the admissions office and my eyes may or may not have welled up at the fact that perhaps in just over a decade we could be standing here for a college tour while he rolls his eyes as we tell him it was just yesterday we were here and you were ye high and hopping up and down these stairs trying to catch a squirrel!
It was so fun to have a weekend to do work stuff, but to do the family stuff too. My kids don't really understand what a book reading is but it means so much to me that they were there [for some of it at least, ten minutes is about the longest the toddler can go before doing a great impression of a howler monkey].
Ramadan is almost here, and I'm traveling tomorrow to Richmond, Virginia for the Girls Of Summer Reading Event at the main Richmond library. It's a short overnight trip and I have to say I am ridiculously excited because not only is it my first library visit, but I get to hang out with Meg Medina who is an awesome writer and an all around amazing human being [I could continue gushing but I will stop here-- she's also hilarious, and we may or may not have shared a kooky cab ride through NYC together-- okay stopping now, promise].
But back to the traveling. For someone who never spent more than a night away from my kids but once last year, I've done a lot of it this year. And while I've physically been the only person on the flights, I certainly did not, and could not travel on my own. When I did a six day stint in Austin, LA, and Pasadena [and while yes, Pasadena is only ten miles from LA it took 90 minutes to get there so it counts separate!], my mother flew in. Between my mother and father alternating travel weekends they may have spent more weekends here these past few months than in their hometown, coming when we ask, and even coming when they know we need help but feel too bad to ask them to come yet again. My in-laws too have come up to help and I frankly don't know how I would do it without the support of my family helping K and easing his childcare work and making sure my children don't feel my absence too strongly and keeping them happy and occupied.
Tomorrow is an overnight trip and K will be handling it solo. The next day begins Ramadan and he'll be starting his first fast while most likely wrangling a toddler who wakes at the crack of dawn [and I mean this literally]. As excited as I was for this opportunity I told K I would say no if it was too hard for him, but he didn't hesitate, he told me to do it. He can shrug it off. He can say it's no big deal. But it is a big deal. Because without him supporting me, I couldn't do any of it.
I am continually amazed and humbled when I'm invited to travel and talk about my book and I am continually grateful beyond measure for a family who makes any of it possible.