By Stacy Johnson
There was a war waging with my “wife self” and my “writer self,” on one of those wet days back in January. I checked the date on the calendar…empty. “Right on,” I thought to myself, my plan to attend the ANWA writer’s conference was in full swing as I confidently hit the enter key to pay my registration. I mentioned it to my husband, a few minutes later, to which came his reply, “That was my weekend for the coaching convention in Vegas.” I argued that he didn’t write it on the calendar, so I was going, he would have to figure out what to do with the rest of the kids. He wasn’t super happy, but not mad.
The battle ensued just a few days later, this time with my “I-raised-my-hand-in-support-of-my-stake-leaders self” and my “writer self” when I found out the conference interfered with our Stake Relief Society Day. I prayed and pondered my choices and ultimately felt solace in my decision to attend the conference even though my partner in crime, neighbor and fellow ANWA sister, Kristine, had gotten the approval of a refund in case we changed our minds.
Friday night before the conference, my husband drove me to Tucson for caramellos from El Guero Canello. I can still taste the homemade tortilla filled with its Mexican cheese blend, pico de gallo, and carne asada…Yum. Our next stop was Pima Community College, where we were going to enjoy an evening watching a performance of Cinderella, in which my dear friend was performing. (Us moms who choose to go back to college gotta support each other). WWIII broke out between “mom self” and “writer self” when two month old Derek proceeded to cry non stop throughout the performance. My dear husband watched the first half of the show while I walked around the foyer with said child and we switched at intermission. My own anxiety in wondering if I could deal with a nursing baby and still enjoy myself at the meeting was growing.
The next morning, I held a bargaining session with baby Derek. “I want you to go to this meeting with me, but I need you to be good. If you can do that, I’ll write a book someday and you can be the main character. Agreed?” He smiled that peace treaty kind of a smile and I knew the day would be awesome. Armed with a prayer in my heart, diaper bag, purse, pen and notepad in one hand, baby and car seat in the other, we were off.
Did anyone even notice the two of us? We were in our own world, sitting in the back of every session, having a grand old time. If you missed him, I’m here to tell you when he wasn’t sound asleep, he barely made a peep and when he did it was to laugh. I guess I better get writing that book that has a character named Derek, hadn’t I?