This past weekend I was in Toronto attending Blissdom Canada 2012, "Canada's premier social media conference for women." As I wrote here (a post referenced by Barbara Jones in her opening remarks), I was a bit nervous about going. I didn't really know anyone or what to expect. The whole thing was way outside my comfort zone.
But I jumped in anyway, and am very grateful that I did. I learned ways to build on what I'm doing from Emma Waverman, Theresa Albert, Candace Alper, and Tanis Miller in the micro-sessions. The speakers I saw were thoughtful and entertaining. As predicted, I found a microphone I liked at the Costume & Karaoke party (sorry about that) and the wine tour to Niagara on Sunday morning was the perfect way to end the conference. I met so many women from across the country (and even from my own city) who share this desire to tell stories and connect with each other. I'm already looking forward to next year.
Now that everyone's home and reflecting, I'm sure that there will be hundreds of posts that contain a variation - or variations - on the paragraph above. Some may go into detail on what they learned at the micro-sessions or from their favorite speaker. But my own learning experience wasn't just taking place in Toronto.
This weekend was the first time Murray was the primary parent for more than one night. Neither of us travel for work, nor are we in the habit of going away for a girls' weekend or guys' trip. I think we were both curious to see how the weekend at home would play out. Thanks to Murray's detailed text messages to me during the conference, we have a fairly accurate record. Over the two days, I received exciting updates like:
"Kids are getting a bit antsy but we're managing. Having lunch right now."
"Movie, Superstore, Mucho Burrito, Melonheads, Costco, and now unpacking and getting ready for supper."
That one was followed closely by
"I'm now doing dishes, laundry, and will finish washing our sheets so that I can sleep in our bed tonight."
and the final one on Saturday night: "I'm going to bed."
A few hours later, my phone buzzed again:
"Mia and I are up. Mia has decided to wear panties today. No pull-ups."
"I just painted Mia's nails. Gavin's still sleeping."
"Mia peed through her panties and onto the carpet. She's helping me clean it up. We're going to continue with a fresh new pair of panties." [Note: we're getting new carpet. Also, I am glad he felt the need to specify that she would not be wearing the dirty wet panties.]
But a half-hour later...
"She had another accident. Now in pull-ups."
The last text before I got on the plane in Toronto was probably my favorite:
"Will you want supper when you get home? We had slow-cooked pork tenderloin with root vegetables, apple, cranberries, brown sugar and cinnamon. I made it up."
Unfortunately, I arrived in Calgary way too late for supper. Instead of having Murray and the kids meet me at the airport, I took a cab home with two other women who were also at the conference and who also lived in the NW. As I expected, everyone was sleeping when I walked in the door. That meant that no one saw my surprise when I noticed the huge bouquet of flowers on the kitchen table.
I don't know if it meant that he realized how much I actually do around the house, or if he missed me or both or if it was because they were on sale at Sobey's. There's been no guilt about me going away, or comments about how tough it was or anything like that. It sounds like they had a great weekend together too. It almost makes me feel like I missed out by not being here with them.
I was far from being the only one who had left my children in the care of their dad in order to be at the conference. A maybe other wives received text messages just as mundane as I did. Honestly, I'd much rather receive those messages than ones warning of disasters either occurred or impending.
So while I learned a lot in Toronto, I also learned that I am lucky enough to be married to a guy who does all that - cooking, cleaning, laundry, errands, and playing with the kids - and at the end of it, I'm the one who ends up with flowers.
If I wouldn't miss them so much too maybe I'd stay away even longer...I wonder what a week could get me :-)