I grew up in Texas, which any Texan will tell you is the best place on the planet. Unfortunately, the horrid place that I'm stuck in now is about as nice as Antarctica. Okay, maybe a little warmer, but in the winter it's cold, snowy, and dark. That's why I was overjoyed this weekend. It was the first time in about 8 months that I was able to go outside without a coat on. On Saturday, I took my daughter to the park, we tried to fly kites in absolutely no wind. I ran with the kite and she chased the tail, which was dragging along the ground. Then, when we got tired, we took in a little league game. We didn't know any of the players (she's only 4), but I used this as an opportunity to explain the wonderful world of baseball. Then, on Sunday, I took my son to the park and we played in the sandbox for a good hour. I listened to one Mom (looking rather more fit than one ought) who had just had a baby six months ago, but was in training for a half marathon. Then another Mom and one Dad stopped by who had both adopted babies from China, and they discussed the process. Meanwhile my son was enjoying putting sand in a bucket and then dumping it out. Repeat. The ducks were swimming in the Charles. There were boaters sailing and canoeing. It was fantastic. Moments like those erase all my guilt for not working weekends, or evenings, for not trying harder at my job. Because when it's all said and done, I really doubt that anyone is going to thank me for my contributions to interesting but esoteric research field A, but I KNOW that my children will remember and cherish the time that we spent together.