Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Time, Part II

I return to work in two weeks. I never thought that would be something I dreaded. I never imagined that I would fantasize about being able to stay at home with my little one.

But I do.

It's crazy -- after 13 years as a lawyer, after all that expensive education and dues paying and incredibly hard work, I'd be happy as a clam to ditch the whole shebang to sit at home and play peek a boo with Gabby.

This turn of thought is particularly mystifying given recent events. My office just celebrated a HUGE victory in a civil rights case. By righting a long standing injustice, the court changed the lives of lots of people for the better. It's not an exaggeration to say that the world is a fairer and better place because of it. I worked on that case, and although my contribution was small, that victory felt like the proudest moment of my career.

When the decision was announced, celebrations erupted throughout the city. I desperately wanted to run down to City Hall and join the party, but Gabby chose that moment to take a much needed nap. And I was totally content to rejoice quietly and skim the decision on my laptop as she snoozed next to me. Seemed kind of a fitting way, actually, to celebrate a decision affirming the right of all people to form families.

Even in the afterglow of that event, I feel no strong pull to return to work. These six months have been such a luxury, and I am so glad to have had them. Being able toHaving to stop what I'm doing to pick up Gabby when she cries, feed her when she's hungry, change her when she's wet feels like such an indulgence. I get to say to the world, hey, fuck off, I'm busy. I work for Gabby now.

I have a feeling that the anticipation is worse than the reality will be. I know I'll be ok, in part because I don't care as much about my job. That's not to say I won't do it well -- I might even do it better, more efficiently. But it's no longer my identity and sole source of pride.

And that feels like a good thing to me.

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