The State of Now

I took my son’s temperature and it was 103. Well, that’s that, I thought. I’m not flying off to New York on a moment’s notice. I’m a mom and I don’t do things like that anymore.

This story starts in a bar, like many good stories. I was at an LA mixer in June for the 140 Conference when an announcement went out through the throngs of people. I had won a trip to New York City! And a VIP pass to the 140 Conference, a conference that explores “the state of now!”

When I went up to accept my prize, Jeff Pulver, the conference organizer and cult figure, asked me an important question. “Can you go?” The conference was in 2 weeks. I then uttered words I never in my life thought I would, “I need to ask my husband.”

I called my husband who was home with our kids, if he was a) going to be in town that week, b) if he could pick up and take our kids to school, and c) if he could manage to feed, clothe, and nurture our boys for several days. He said an enthusiastic, “Yes! You should do it.”

Right after my ticket to New York was booked, my husband called and said that he had to go to a conference in San Diego that overlapped with my trip, but not to worry because he would be back in time to pick up our kids from school. We live in Los Angeles and it can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours to get from San Diego to Los Angeles.

I panicked, and frantically called my support network of friends and told them that there was a small chance that they would need to spring into action. I asked for their help. They said, yes, of course.

My airline tickets and hotel were booked and it was happening. A spontaneous trip to New York. I couldn’t believe it. I was actually living “in the state of now.”

And then I picked my son up from school the day before I was supposed to go. He was hot and cranky, but he seemed fine. As the night progressed, he got sicker and sicker. The state of Now was now sucking.

His fever went from 100 to 103. I gave him Motrin, then Tylenol. A cool bath. He seemed better by the time he went to sleep.

This scenario isn’t one I don’t deal with all the time. Between school, friends, and each other, my kids have been exposed to all kinds of illnesses. I spent the first couple of years of their lives home with them being sick or injured.

But this was different. I would be leaving my sick child. What kind of a mother leaves a sick child to travel across the country?

A mother who works, my husband said, calling me on my drama. I did win the trip, but it was a conference that would be great networking and I’d be working at the same time. “Call the babysitter,” he said from his conference.

Babysitter? I’m so used to handling everything in-house that it never occurred to me to call her. I texted her at 11 p.m. and asked if she could care for my sick child. “Yes, not a problem.”

So I started packing at 11:30 p.m. and wrote a detailed list of everything she needed to do.

The next morning I went to New York. And do you know what happened at home after I left? Nothing. My son didn’t get sicker, he got better. My babysitter was great and so was my husband when he got back from San Diego.

Everything was fine. Maybe this is my new state of now.