Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I will never get tired of seeing this image

The children peacefully reading in the book nook, freshly bathed and patiently waiting for Daddy’s arrival home.

And please, for those of you scoffing at the idyllic nature of this shot, scoff away.  This scene follows what Will and I both labeled as our “do over” day, which culminated in George’s diaper literally falling apart at Will’s office (on the penthouse floor, on the firm’s custom-made Oriental rug, during a firm luncheon, in front of the entire firm) as the children gleefully chased each other around the rotunda-like entryway.  The second I heard Will ask, “what is that yellow stuff?  It looks like George dropped a snow cone,” I knew what had happened.  For those lucky souls who haven’t seen the contents of a diaper, Will’s description is dead on; except it is the exact opposite of a snow cone starting with how much fun (and easy) it is to clean up. 

As I was chasing my screaming, yellow-snow-dropping child down the firm’s hallways, I realized how different my life had become since stopping my own law practice.  In many ways, I feel more similar to those attorneys at the luncheon than I do to other stay-at-home mothers—I still work hard, I still read voraciously, I continue to write (almost) daily, and I negotiate some major deals on an hourly basis.  But once I seized my boy and scooped him and his diaper contents up as tenderly as possible, my eyes caught the gazes of some of Will’s colleagues looking at me like I had two heads (or maybe just like I had a tw0-year-old with a major diaper issue)—some looked at me with pity; others looked at me with aversion; none of them looked at me as a comrade.  At that moment it hit me that while I may feel like one of them, I am no longer part of the club.  To those attorneys looking at my life from the outside, I am now a mother, a wife, a running partner, a book club member, a tennis buddy, a coupon clipper, but I am no longer an attorney.  I wanted to wave with my one free hand and say, "Hey!  Don't worry; I'm one of you."  Somehow though I knew that in my worn out jeans from law school and Shape-Up tennis shoes, I would only stick out even more than I already did. 

Truthfully, I don’t know how I feel about that yet.  I have no interest in returning to the law anytime soon, but I’m not sure I am ready to be dismissed from its membership.  I still know the secret handshake.  I still love the research and writing aspect.  I still have an unending respect for the true greats in the law.  And I still know there will be something there for me when I return, in whatever format that takes.

I suppose that last thought will have to carry me through these next years.  Or maybe over time I will stop asking to be included in the good ol’ club and realize that my new club is pretty wonderful just as it is.  And the members are really stinkin’ cute!

Happy Tuesday everyone!

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