This week was rough. Between the "sick" days for K & O, and the start of the semester for me, and Braydon's usual over-the-top workload... it was just a long week. Because of a whole lot of events and deadlines and important lunch and dinner meetings, Thurs-Fri were incredibly long work days for me. Driving home from work this evening, at 5:30pm, I realized that in the past 48 hours I had spent exactly 2 hours with my boys. I go through lots of emotions during days like these. It is not so much guilt that I feel (at least at this point), it is just a sort of sickening pit in my stomach. I wish there was a way to have a serious, ambitious career and never have to put in the long days... but there just plain isn't. Careers like this just simply don't have 'usual hours' and there is no way around that. Luckily for me (and my conscience) my boys take it all in stride. This morning I outright asked them, "Are you mad at mommy for working so late last night?" (I had taught an early evening graduate seminar and afterward had to attend a dinner party on campus). Owen spoke up right away, totally genuinely and forthrightly: "No mommy, we're not mad." I turned to Kyle, "Ky Ky, how do you feel about it?" He looked me right in the eyes, "I'm not mad mommy!" Then they both came over to hug me. They are cheery and happy kids. I think they are sincere -- I honestly think that they are comfortable the way things are. I can't even explain how grateful I am for that. It is not easy, this dual-career-family/professor-mom gig. But it isn't impossible either. And I feel indebted to all those women who came before me paving the way. If it is this hard now, I can't even imagine what it was like 30 years ago -- let alone 60 years ago. Families like ours have those women (and those people in their lives who supported them) to thank. And in reality, the way I look at it, all's well that ends well. That's true on the most micro --and the most macro-- levels. Tonight we ended the week on a high note. We all stood around the stove as K & O made their favorite dinner: "Bunny Macaroni" (Annie's Macaroni and Cheese). As they ate their mac-n-cheese, baby carrots, and cherry tomatoes the four of us sat at the table for almost an hour and talked together like four best friends. It felt like we were re-grouping. And it felt good. Even at the end of a rough week K & O are no worse for wear. They are happy, gracious, thriving boys full of energy and zest for life. That, to me, is just amazing. Nonetheless... I think all four of us feel the same way: TGIF. Have a great weekend y'all.