The Big Bang Theory is on break from filming and the question I have gotten most in the past few weeks is “What are you doing on hiatus?”
The answer is: “Not much” which means being a full-time at home mama to an almost 6-year-old homeschooled son and an almost 3-year-old who I am certain will wean this summer or I am moving to Tahiti alone. It’s the only logical next step, don’t you agree?
1. In truth, we will do some family vacationing: we may go visit my husband’s family in Utah, and don’t tell my older son, but we are planning to surprise him by going to see Maccabeats perform at a Jewish festival in Colorado in June.
2. Once Simon & Schuster gets me my edits for my book on attachment parenting and how it works in our house (it’s due out Spring 2012), I assume that will take up a good chunk of my summer too.
3. But what I do a lot of in general is speaking engagements, and this week, we will board a plane to Allentown, Pennsylvania. I will be giving a commencement speech at the Lehigh campus of Penn State University, in all of my doctoral regalia from UCLA (including the royal blue velvet tam atop my head). I also have a reception to attend with the Chancellor and other fancy important academic people. For someone who is an introvert (not kidding), this stuff is hard for me and it takes a lot out of me, but I manage okay as long as I get breaks to unwind, read, and write in my journal. When my Lehigh resposibilties are over, we will tour the Crayola crayon factory, which is close by and sounds pretty neat.
4. From PA, we will rent a car and drive to Teaneck, New Jersey, where I will (on Mother’s Day) speak about my Reform upbringing and subsequent journey towards more observant Judaism to a small group of donors about the work of my friend and study partner, known on the internet as Jew in the City. If you are curious more about this talk, here’s a cool article written about it, and here’s another one in the Jewish Press.
5. While in Teaneck, I am also recording an interview about tznius (modesty in demeanor and dress) that will be used for the Union of Traditional Judaism’s “MTV” (Movies, TV, and Video) Challenge, a really neat curriculum used in schools to teach about living in both the modern and observant worlds.
6. I will take a brief jaunt into the city while my husband and the boys do some hanging out around Teaneck to meet my Simon & Schuster editor and my literary manager about the marketing for my book. I may try and eat kosher vegan food at the supremely awkwardly-named Blossom Cafe with a few friends; this will serve as my “me time”.
7. From the east coast, we will make one more stop in Louisville, Kentucky so I can address the Federation of Louisville. We are spending an extra day there to tour the “Slugger” baseball museum and factory and then we fly home.
My husband handles the boys extremely well when I am working, and I am still pumping for our little guy, so that’s a little bit of me he has in a bottle when I am away for several hours at a time. Our schedule is a bit hectic, but it is also sort of what we have gotten used to. I do look forward to the day when I can do trips like this alone, no breast pump needed, no rush to get back to screaming small people, and loads of time with all of the people I barely have time to socialize with but never get to.
But for now, I am grateful for the opportunity to tell my story to people who care to hear it (my therapist doesn’t count). I am grateful for a husband who is dedicated to providing such excellent love and care for our sons; not as a “babysitter,” but as their at-home dad.
I know that there will come a day when I miss packing the cute little snacks, the extra undies in case someone has a “miss,” the surprise toys for the plane ride, and the various dolls and “babies” that our boys tote about with them when we travel.
One thing I will not miss, though — not ever — is making room in my suitcase for Fred’s portable potty. That thing is just bulky as hell.
Mayim Bialik will be speaking in Teaneck, NJ on Sunday, May 8 at 8:30 p.m. E-mail MayimInTeaneck@gmail.com for more information.