Friday, February 4, 2011


It's quiet. It's Friday at 1040pm and everyone is sleeping except for me.

J has the flu. Neither of the boys do. I have laryngitis still.

But it's quiet in my head too. Not peaceful, but quiet. Tired.

This was my first week back to work. Eight weeks old and Liam is at daycare all day. He doesn't seem to mind, he smiles all the time, but I mind.

I don't know if it's because I turned 40 in December, I just gave birth, it's winter, or something else, but...I'm down. What's that word? Anti climactic. Life is anticlimactic these days. I don't know why I'm surprised by this, because you can't really beat "free trip to France" and "miracle baby" in a calendar year. And I didn't expect to. But something is definitely not.... right with me.

It's like everything is exactly the same, but absolutely everything is different.

Work is a powder keg ready to explode. But I'll tell you what, I am blessed there too. With coworkers, if not bosses, who believe in me, stand by me, and pull me up when I'm down. That's one thing about trial lawyers, that us vs. them mentality can really circle around you and make you feel better.

But .... 20 years from now will I care that I went to work? Do I EVER look back on a case and think, yeah, that was worth my time. By the time I arrive on scene, my clients are already getting sued, and they are stressed out, angry, and worried. At the end of the case, even if everything goes well and in my clients' favor, they all think, and many say, "No offense, but I hope I never have to work with you again."

Where's the fun in that?

My mom says to remember that my job is not just to argue, but to fight for justice. Meh.

I am burned out. And I think I realized that just before maternity leave, and I really embraced it during leave. I got a taste of NOT working. I got a taste of being .... just me.

But then everyone hates working, right? No one really adores their job, right?

When I went back to work with Brody, it was almost a relief. I could talk to adults, and think just about myself for a few hours. With Liam... so much is different. With  Brody he was so small (3lbs) and so our focus was on growing him, making him bigger, as fast as we can. The smallness of him was not really a blessing. With Liam, the smallness of him is one of my favorite things about him. And I think he's huge, until you sit him next to the giant Addison, age 4 months, at daycare. But I want to soak his smallness into me a little while longer. I want to submerge myself in my boys and our home. I do not want to rush in the mornings, and rush at night, and wish I had more arms to carry the dirty clothes, car seat, blankies, and coats back and forth from home to daycare. I just don't. And I never felt that way until now.

It doesn't help of course that at my job, you are only as valuable as your last mistake, regardless of the hundreds of thousands - millions? - you have saved the clients. The universe could not underline the question better: I'm giving up this for that?

But of course, there are bills to pay. And I make a pretty good living. Not as much as a lawyer working in private practice, but then, I see my kids much more than lawyers in private practice.

The only way I've managed to survive this week is to think to myself, this is temporary. This job, this frantic pace, this failure to stop moving.

Liam smiles with his whole body, just like Brody. They smile at each other for no reason other than they are there, in the same space, usually both on my lap. Brody told me "Me and Liam are the best brothers ever." Liam sleeps a lot and eats even more. Usually, most nights, he gets up once at an obscene hour, then again after 530am. He's getting enormous rolls in his thighs, and a big belly, and cheeks that hang off his face. He smiles in his sleep all the time and when you give him a pacifier, his fists and arms and legs all jump, like they are trying to leap into the pacifier.  He nuzzles my neck with his face, and I think I will die of his cuteness when he roots for milk with his mouth.

And it seems kind of wrong that I give that up 10 hours a day to go earn... money. Is that the price I put on Liam and Brody? Is that what they are worth? Or my experience of them is worth?

It's quiet. It's Friday at 11:00pm and everyone is sleeping except for me.