So far, I've bought four new back-to-school items, one of which is a pair of shoes (if a pair can be considered "one"!) The least expensive item in the bunch, though, might be the one that's making me happiest: these sunny Broken-In Strwight Khakis from The Gap. Gap calls them Ghanaian Yellow; they're mustardy sunshine, just enough edge to the gold that I'm already imagining all kinds of combos to take them right through the fall. I never get to wear yellow near my face and it's always seemed too much investment to do the "pop of colour" thing with it. But in pants? In this slightly off-yellow yellow? Love!
I ended up partial-tucking this navy top in for a bit more structure. But guess where I took the whole outfit. . . After receiving an emotional email from my new-mama daughter, I cancelled today's hair appointment (I am going to be such a mess by the next available appointment, mid-September!), begging off two important term start-up meetings on Thursday, and I took the first ferry I could manage on Tuesday morning, drove straight over to little Frankie's new home, stopping only to pick up a few groceries on the way. The smile (and wan relief?) on my daughter's face when I arrived at her door told me I'd made the right move. Her partner is doing an amazing job of holding the fort, but given that all R can do is nurse the baby and (barely) get herself from bed to couch to bathroom, it's really too much for one person.
I feel anxious about missing so much of the preparation for the new term. While the administrative details and the meetings can be a nuisance, they also generally help me switch gears from summer's relaxed schedule back to "real life." And I will even admit that I was looking a forward to catching up with my colleagues and to hearing new department and faculty plans for the upcoming academic year. When I get back, time at our sole faculty photocopier will be even more at a premium, and I wonder if I'm missing the deadline for sending my course outlines to the printshop.
But when my anxiety over missing these elements of my academic life mounts, I just remind myself that yesterday afternoon, I held a newborn for almost three hours while her parents caught up on their sleep. A gift for me, a gift for them.
There will be more meetings. I'm doing much of my prep in the evenings here and keeping up with all the admin emails on my iPad mini. Somehow, at the beginning of next month, I'll get up in front of each of my three classes and the teaching and learning will happen all over again. I will hand out course outlines, even if I have to print and collate and staple-sort them ever so slowly on my little printer at home. I've been reading all summer toward these lectures, and I know my material well enough to engage, and I'm good at facilitating lively discussions about the readings. Deep down, I do know this, and the knowledge helps to balance, if not alleviate, my anxiety.
But I will only have one chance to help this little family on their way. Wearing my new pants. Baby Frankie is "wearing" her new baby blanket, knit by Nana. Tomorrow I'll show you how she styles it (hint: closed eyes are an important accessory.
Before I head back to Baby Duty (best duty ever when it's a Nana gig!), thanks again for all your lovely comments. I read every one of them, but I'm going to temporarily give myself permission not to answer them all as quickly as I generally try to. Hope you understand.