Monday, November 09, 2009


The other day I told Joe I sometimes envied his descriptions of early morning coffee in his office with co-workers discussing theology, politics and the law. I lamented that I filled my head with useless bits of information like which kids don't like cheese on their ham sandwiches and how much milk to pour at mealtime because one child or another never drinks more than half a glass. I grumbled that those were the bits of information filling my head instead of big, important things like legal arguments heard at the state supreme court level that could change the landscape of Wisconsin law.

There was a time in my life, not so very long ago, that I got up in the morning, got dressed in clothes that weren't covered in spit-up stains nor did they have elastic waistbands (don't judge; sweatpants are very appealing some mornings). I went into an office, talked to other adults and worked on things pertaining to what is still today one of my favorite topics to think and talk about: politics. I did that happily for a time. It was invigorating and exciting and it kept me on my toes mentally.

And Joe didn't even think twice about how to respond to my whining. "But Cate," he said, "that's the information you need to have to be good at your job."

And he's right. And in that moment I remembered every moment I worked all those years ago that I didn't want to after I had Madeleine. I remembered every morning that I dropped Madeleine off somewhere and missing her. Every evening that I arrived home with a tired, crabby baby and yet still had dinner to cook and laundry to wash and a house to clean flashed through my head as if it were yesterday. No, I have never seriously questioned my vocation; I'm doing what I want to be doing.

So, during this season of my life I will fill my head with the details that will make me better at my job. I will still whine, occasionally, about people I meet who seem to think I have nothing else to talk about. If someone assumes I am incapable of talking about things other than my daily life than that's their fault for not probing, not mine; I'm quite conversant in any number of subjects.

But still, as this morning's coffee was coupled with a yelling nine-year-old and a crying baby, I still wish that-- just sometimes--I could sit in Joe's office for one, quiet cup of coffee.


dad said...

Astute and wise insights... Tell Joe to quit gossiping and get to work and log those billable hours as Obamacare/climatecare will drown us in new or astronomically higher taxes and Joe will have to work twice as hard to pay them.
Which grandchild favors ham and cheese?

Wendy said...


CJ said...

Kirk and I have this discussion from time to time, but the thought of working just make my nerves run. How would I get everything else done and the kids would fall to the wayside are my thoughts. It's the balance of a women/family/career that is hard to find. Wouldn't change it though.

terri said...