Saturday, November 22, 2014

Today, Baby: Work

Today, baby, I want to share with you a little about the household you're going to be born into. Your mom and dad, well... we work a lot. Some may say this is not an ideal situation, but stick with me and I'll try to explain why it might actually work out OK.

I figured this was a good time to write about this because it is one of the hardest times of the year for me. I'm a writing teacher at a community college, and November and April are really tough months for us. I have a tsunami of papers to grade, and there always seems to be a hurricane of social events to attend. Because we have wonderful friends, and because I think the job I do is important, I put the time in. 

Last weekend, for example, I had two sets of papers to grade and some prep to do. Your father, who had work of his own to do, went grocery shopping so I didn't have to leave the house except to go out to dinner once.
(This doesn't mean I don't take breaks. I stopped once or twice a day to watch an episode of the Olive Kitteridge miniseries and sighed with relief at the reminder that some folks have harder lives than I do. Baby, I have a feeling I'm going to be taking lots of breaks for you :-)

Then, I actually go to work. Although my at-work days are comparatively shorter than some--I might be on campus 8-4 one day, 9:30-3:30 the next--you'll find me at my computer at home other times emailing and grading online papers. Because I also think it's important to give back to the campus, I do things like attend workshops or bother faculty about accepting blogging challenges, and I go to campus events to support our awesome students and friends and wake up the next morning craving for a few hours of extra sleep, especially since you've been on board.

But baby, I love this job so much. And I think your dad is intensely fulfilled by the studying and work that he does, too. I hope we bring home positive, loving vibes knowing we are trying to work in a way that positively enriches the world, that we aren't dumping oil in the oceans, stopping the president from passing mild immigration reform, or filling the Environmental Protection Committee with creationists who don't think that anyone except God can make a difference in the climate. 

I suppose there's a chance I could turn into one of those ghost employees that only shows up to work two hours a day, but I don't think so.

Maybe the kind of work we do (your dad is en route to being a nurse, by the way) will matter to you one day. Or maybe not. Maybe when you're older you'll resent us for working, for not being at home all day to keep the house super clean and organized and to sit with you on the couch after school while you watch a cartoon and eat fish crackers, if those are even allowed anymore.

I know we will do some of that stuff with you. I know that even when I'm about to fall over from exhaustion, I'll go to the kitchen and make macaroni and cheese with steamed broccoli. I'll sit on the floor and play with whatever your favorite toy happens to be. Your dad and I will tuck you in bed and sing songs--hymns from childhood, Tori Amos lullabies, Death Cab for Cutie, and more. I hope it's enough.

But just in case it's not enough, because inevitably we'll fuck up in some way we never imagined, we'll start a therapy fund, OK? It's probably a good idea for everyone to have therapy at some point in their lives, so we might as well get ahead of the curve.

Baby, today you are 26 weeks old in there and, according to BabyCenter, you're the size of a scallion. Sigh.


  1. Oh, the *length* of a scallion. Whew! I thought, "That's one skinny kid!" ;)