Monday, May 21, 2012

Big plans

So I'm taking the Things on a major road trip/camping adventure for a couple of weeks this summer.   We're going a long way, through very cool territory, a few states and a couple of countries.  I've been planning it all out this evening, figuring out reasonable driving portions, maximizing cool adventuring in the places we set up camp.  I'm so, so excited.  But also a little anxious.  One of the things about being a single parent is that on a trip like this all the planning falls to oneself.  If something falls through, one must recalibrate on one's own.  If catastrophe strikes (and I'm talking here about, say, car catastrophes), then one must deal with both catastrophe and kids capably.  There's no off position on the parenting switch, no opportunity to let the other guy take over for a while. 

Before we depart, I must finish my work on the big anthology thing, as it's due to the publisher July 1.  I really have only a 12-page intro to write, but seem not to be able to, you know, write it.  Why?  Because my mind is wholly occupied with re-conceiving my scholarly book's intro chapter.  I'm reminded, as I re-engage with that chapter, what a lousy reviser I am.  Lousy.  It takes me so freaking long to write it the first time.  And when I write it the first time, I've really stretched to my capacity trying to get the argument down.  I'm almost incapable of returning to the scene of the crime, as it were, to shift things around.  Indeed, after two days of trying to do just that, I've resigned myself this evening to the probability that I just have to rewrite the intro chapter from scratch.  I'll actually have an easier time incorporating my big plans for this chapter if I start over than I will if I try to shoehorn them in.  That's dispiriting.  Especially since the big trip is looming right around the corner, and will virtually shut down my sustained thinking about any project for a couple of weeks.  July is looking grim indeed. 

At least I'll go into it fueled by s'mores.


Blue Cheese said...

Don't discount the power of s'mores. And cheese. And your own ability to rise to the challenge.

Leslie said...

As the child of a single parent, I have to say that car repairs (once, our gas tank fell out on the road) and other catastrophes loom in my memory. But mostly because they seemed like extra adventure on top of the adventures we were already on, even though I know now they freaked my mom out.

There is no parent off-switch, but there is a Thing on-switch, and they're old enough to amuse themselves a lot and look out for each other on adventures.

They're lucky Things, and y'all will have a blast.

Kristen said...

Had a dream about you and the Things last night. You were at a poetry reading that I couldn't get to. The Things were so grown up, and busy with their own activities. And you were really happy.

I hope these were good signs of happy stuff happening.


radagast said...

I'm intrigued by the camping trip. Where will you go? What sort of camping?

CK said...

Good luck on the intro and hurray on the trip! Sounds wonderful.

CK said...

Wait...HOORAY. I was thinking huzzah and hooray and it came out "hurray" somehow.

Or maybe that's what we say when there's an intro to write before a trip? Yeah, that's what I meant.

Doctor Cleveland said...

Well, you're right that you can't plan for everything, because emergencies are never in the plan.

But you can count on yourself to improvise. And you can trust yourself. You'll be fine.

Renaissance Girl said...

Of course I'm not actually nervous about going on the trip with the Things--we camp a lot--all summer, really--and I've traveled with them since they were born. I think the point here that I didn't bring adequately to the surface is that the one shitty thing about single parenting has to do with not being able to shift some of the responsibility onto someone else for a while. It's yet another variation on my tiresome time-management theme: it'd be nice to shunt the dishes and laundry and lawnmowing onto someone else so that I can spend the day writing, nice to let someone else drive for a few miles. I'm afraid of no man, beast, or carburetor, but I do wish I could do everything that needs to be done in a day.