It’s the crack of dawn, the day after I’ve arrived back home from the Digital Parents Conference.
For once, I’m okay about being up so early. Maybe it’s because I’ve miraculously slept solid for almost 8 hours straight. But I think it’s mainly due to just being happy. Happy that I’m home.
I had a fabulous time at the conference. I met up with some of my nearest and dearest in this blogosphere. I also became further acquainted with others. The days were busy keeping in time to the jam-packed schedule of workshops and networking.
But throughout the entire trip, I couldn’t fight the sporadic pangs of homesickness.
It actually took me by surprise. Taking a logical perspective, this wasn’t the first time I had been away from the family. I had ripped off the initial band-aid of parent/child separation anxiety 8 months ago. It was for another bloggers conference. Again in Melbourne. With almost the same crazy schedule. Last time, I was relishing in the “just me moments”. Loving every second of that exhilarating sense of independence.
However, on this occassion, I was being a complete, emotional wuss.
I couldn’t figure it out. Maybe it was because they’re a lot more interactive now. Or that I had more time to actually think of them as little people developing into their beautiful personalities, rather than just worrying about the mundane duties of feeding and sleeping times. Perhaps it’s because the boys are older and stronger and I was coming to grips with the fact that they’re picking up on their own sense of independence.
The first night, while my roomie was out and about till late in the evening, I tried to sleep. Tossing and turning, making at least half a dozen trips to the toilet, subconsciously thinking of home. I thought I’d watch a video I took of the boys to help me ease into slumber. But then something caused me to change my mind. Watching their familiar movements and comical gestures on a small screen but with all that distance between us, was only going to make the pain worse. And sobbing alone in a strange, dark hotel room was not going to be my thing that night. So, I kept the phone away.
The next day, wandering around the exhibition booths during morning tea, I spotted Thomas the Tank Engine books. The same ones my boys have and love. At home, I hate Thomas. He’s annoying because he’s friggin’ EVERYWHERE.
With one glance at those books and the maternal yearn in me reached an all time pathetic high. I started getting teary thinking of my boys. Stupid Really Useful Engine.
It was the first time I was meeting Lee and although I had met Kate before, it had been awhile. Apologising for my blubbering mess, the girls giggled.
“If there’s anywhere you can cry for your boys, Grace…it’s here” Kate smiled.
Dang, of course ! I was at a parenting bloggers conference.
And I guess this was the big difference between that first conference to this one.
It was a comforting reminder that being a mum was our common-denominator. Being a blogger was almost second in line. Tears and emotion was going to be allowed. Welcomed, even.