This week…I hung out in paradise, and came home to heaven.

by Janelle Hanchett


  1. I will never, as long as I live, understand men. I don’t think that statement needs further explanation.
  2. I will also never, as long as I live, quite adjust myself fully to the way life is fired at you in point-blank range. The way it appears stable, and comfortable, and maybe, even a little predictable, until all the sudden. Boom. And nothing is as it was before. Fear sets in of the new place and the new way, and you just hope you’ve got the strength to pull through. One.More.Time. Until finallyyou realize, just as suddenly, you’re already doing it.
  3. So this week I traveled down to southern California, all the way down to the  lovely San Diego. We were there for an academic conference. If you’ve been there, you know it’s amazing (San Diego, not necessarily the conference).
  4. I spent most of my time in that weird mother zone where every moment holds two very distinct emotions: 1. Damn it’s nice not to have my kids here; and 2. Damn, I really wish my kids were here.
  5. There is no rest for mothers. (As I’m sure you’ve noticed.)
  6. But on this trip, I didn’t even have my husband with me, which was doubly weird, because if I am ever away from my kids, he’s there. So I was like alone. Well, alone with some really nice, smart people.
  7. So I enjoyed it there immensely – sitting on the beach, having meals in restaurants without debauchery and mayhem, hanging out in a gay bar the Friday night before Halloween – but I was happy to come home, and it’s very clear to me that I belong right where I am with the people I’m with, doing what I’m doing. And that’s a pretty good feeling.
  8. Our presentation went well, particularly if you think fifty people attacking you is “going well.” Okay it wasn’t that bad. I added that last part for emphasis. But we were talking about a bit of a controversial subject, and we were pissing people off.
  9. So in other words, it was a WIN.
  10. I got home, and my three little kids bolted at me with slightly alarming speed, and I was in love, again. Though of course, I was never out of it. But they seemed to have changed. Ava had a little more sass, Rocket’s face looked slightly more grown up. His hair was longer. Georgie used the gerund form. (“eating.”) It’s weird, being away for a few days, coming home, looking at your kids as if you’ve seen them for the first time.
  11. And sure it’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen.

Even, I would say, more beautiful than this moment in Ocean Beach…



and Happy Halloween, a little early…

4 Comments | Posted in weeks of mayhem | October 28, 2012
  • Shan

    Seriously, you were in OB? That was the last place I lived in San Diego. It’s where Corey was born and where I loved the homeless people who summered in the alley behind my apartment. When my apartment manager, Paul, went out and asked them to smoke their weed somewhere else this time, they said, “Oh, did she have the baby?” Yes, yes she did cool homeless people. I don’t suppose you ate at Hodad’s (my favorite), and it doesn’t sound like you went to Bullfrogs (unless it’s turned into a gay bar), but thank you. For bringing up all those wonderful memories… because right now I am going on hour number three of trying to get Fynnie to sleep at the end of a weekend that has pretty much gone like this.

    Oh, and thank you also for this:
    Okay it wasn’t that bad. I added that last part for emphasis. But we were talking about a bit of a controversial subject, and we were pissing people off.
    So in other words, it was a WIN.


  • julia adams

    the weird mother zone – ever so true. But now I’m curious about the controversial subject!? Also hope your friend’s dog made it home okay. Dude, you can’t just throw that stuff out there for us to worry about and not give an update. Actually I forgot all about it because of the constantly unfolding saga that is my life until I saw your new post but would still find a happy ending comforting 🙂 so share – unless it’s sad and then maybe my imaginary happy ending is better.

  • Katie Vyktoriah

    That is a beautiful photo, and it sounds like a glorious weekend. When my fella and I went to the Caribbean earlier this year and had to leave my son behind for a week, it was the hardest thing ever, and I imagined coming home would be exactly as you described here. Unfortunately, the reality was somewhat different, as he wasn’t yet a year old and he decided that I was the worst mom ever. He punished me for a full week, refusing to come near me, screaming bloody murder and generally making me feel like I wanted to die. Of course, he was only too happy to forgive his dad, who was the one who forced me to go away in the first place. *sigh*

    Kids… they lift you up and shoot you down in the same breath sometimes. 😉 But glad you had fun!! 🙂

  • emily

    What was the conference? What was the controversy? Just a fellow English academic being nosy.