Today is Thursday, which is usually my day with Babygirl and Babyboy. It’s when I handle drop-off and pickup, and we do something fun after school.

But, I’m at a conference. It’s an awesome conference, for physician-writers. But I’m sad that I missed my one weekday as a “real mom” for the kids.

Last night, Babyboy asked me if I would be home when he woke up today. I explained about the all-day conference for people who want to write books, and that I wouldn’t be home from early morning until nighttime.

Instead of being sad, he perked up: “I can go with you, mommy! Can I go with you?”

Oh, so cute, but so heartbreaking! I had to tell him that it would be a really long day, and so boring for him to have to sit quiet for hours and hours and listen to big people talk about making books.

He remained hopeful: “But mommy, I can bring my paper, and markers. I can make books too!”

It’s true, he could. It’s one of his favorite things: He’ll staple a bunch of paper together and make his own picture- books. We have hundreds. Some make sense, like his version of “The Three Billy Goats Gruff”, and some are completely nonsensical, like his montage of drawings and cut-out magazine ads that he calls “Glasses”.

I stroked his forehead and reassured him that while I was so proud of his writing and that I knew he would write a big book someday, he wasn’t going to be able to come with me, because they didn’t allow little kids. He needed to go to school and be the best student he could be.

Finally deflated, he moped away: “Ooooh- kay mommy. Maybe next time.”

That’s when I deflated. Maybe next time. It sounds so lame, and so sad.

So I’m brainstormung how to make it up to them, how to make the “next time” real.

Maybe order a special book that we can read together? Plan an arts-and-crafts book project at home this Sunday? Take them to the library next week?

All of the above?