In case you’re wondering, the BRMCWC is the oh-so-amazing Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers’ Conference. And clearly, I am here without my four delightful children. (Stands up. Takes a bow. Sends husband and mother-in-law virtual flowers and chocolate and sleep.) Much as I adore and miss my children every minute, I am very happy to go on missing them for the duration of the conference, for these 13 glorious reasons, which I imagine every Writer Mom at this conference is also secretly celebrating:
1. Four full nights of uninterrupted sleep. Four! Nights! (Somewhere deep in my subconscious, I suspect this was one of my main reasons for attending a writing conference. Drive 400 miles for four full nights’ guaranteed sleep? YES.)
2. Getting to worship all the way through a song set without being forced out of the room by an adorable toddler who has an impressive talent for emitting eardrum-shattering shrieks.
3. Two words: white pants. Three more words: no jelly fingerprints.
4. Talking to wonderful new writer friends, using multisyllabic words that have nothing to do with the potty or smashed bananas.
5. Getting to use a hair straightener like a normal person . . . without wrestling with the cord the whole time, trying to keep it away from curious toddler fingers.
6. Using an iron and ironing board without the heart-stopping fear that a child will come running into the room unexpectedly and scar themselves (or Mommy) for life.
7. Hearing Alton Gansky say, “When an accountant looks out a window, he’s daydreaming; when a writer looks out a window, he’s working.” Laughing and nodding alongside four hundred other people who understand exactly what that means.
8. Admiring mountain views, breathing mountain air, savoring the sound of silence.
9. Taking a shower, getting dressed, putting on makeup, doing something to my hair besides yanking it into a ponytail . . . and doing all of these activities in a single span of time, without stopping to mop up spilled milk, remove a splinter, or resolve a sibling squabble. I have not done these things without interruption for, oh, eight years.
10. Staying up ridiculously late talking books and God, just because we can.
11. Four days without dishes and laundry? Call me Lady Mary.
12. Hearing Brian Bird say, “We gotta stop clamoring against the darkness and start lighting some candles.” Trying not to levitate out of my seat.
13. Filling up on inspiration, ideas, and conviction so I can go home and write a better world for those four precious people who I actually do miss with all my heart—jelly fingerprints, milk spills, sibling squabbles and all.