Thursday, February 26, 2009

job description

Ahhh look - it's a much younger working Whimsy!
At a time in her life when she could wear JEANS to work! Why are you looking at this much less baby-weathered Whimsy? Read on.

A not-quite-so-secret (anymore) fact about me: I sort of love the eighteenth century names for diseases. I guess I could do without some of the yuckier terms that they bandied about in medical jargon (like PUTRID - I violently hate that word)-- but on the whole, I love how they really committed to the names of the diseases. They had things like quinsy (throat inflammation), apoplexy (stroke), gout (sort of arthritis), and the grippe (flu). If you're going to be sick, I say you should embrace it.

And I totally agree with Serenity Now - consumption really does sound like such a romantic disease, doesn't it? I've always thought so. Also diptheria. That one sounded pretty good too. NOT THAT I WANT TO CONTRACT ANYTHING, THANKYOUVERYMUCH.

Anyway... the whole canker sore situation has cleared up quite a bit. I get them sometimes when I'm particularly stressed. And I think that things have been bubbling away on the stress meter. Some of it is my own doing, of course. Like the fact that I decided to have a smallish birthday party for Alice's first birthday. And even though I say smallish, I'm sort of a, shall we say CRAZY PERFECTIONIST. So there's that. I know she's not going to remember a blessed thing about it, and blah blah blah it's all for the parents blah blah. I know. So maybe I should have said on the invitation ALICE HAS KINDLY DECIDED TO TURN ONE SO THAT HER MOTHER COULD HAVE SOME PEOPLE OVER TO EAT CUPCAKES, THX.

Speaking of cupcakes (and my passionate commitment to being Crazy): this week, I found myself sitting in my parked car (engine running in an attempt to keep baby asleep) in the parking lot of Cash & Carry talking on the phone to my boss and subsequently, Andy at the gas company-- all the while trying to talk as quietly but as assertively as possible and scribbling massive notes about the process of installing a gas line into a property (and then installing the gas appliances such as furnace, stove, and water heater). The entire thing took 45 minutes but it was one of those moments when I realized that my life is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from how it was a year ago. And also? NOT SO MUCH. (Incidentally, the reason for the AWKWARD but really QUITE TOPICAL subject change "speaking of cupcakes..." is because I was AT Cash & Carry to buy the perfect size of nut cups that I use to make cupcakes. I like 'em small, yes I do.) Anyway, this thought of job pre-baby and the actual job of HAVING A BABY goes back to an email conversation I've been having with a friend that I met through this blog. She wanted to know what I used to do and who I used to work for. And while I'm not going to say WHO I worked for here, I can tell you that I was one of those Assistant-y people. I Assisted. I was at the Big Company for seven years, and in those seven years I Assisted various people at various levels of corporate hierarchy. Some easy, some not so much. All of them wonderful people who I still call my friends. But dude, when you're an assistant... your life isn't so much your own. And you can find yourself doing some very weird things. Which is why, a year later, I don't feel like my job has changed. Sure, I now perform the weird tasks on a 24-hour cycle--- though I once had a boss - this was at another Large Company - who would call me at all hours, on all days, including weekends, to ask me stuff. Stuff that usually had NOTHING TO DO WITH MY JOB. I'll never forget him calling me at O-DARK-THIRTY (read: 6:00 a.m.) on a SUNDAY to tell me that he was being transferred to Minneapolis and would I consider coming with him. He's lucky I first remembered that it was April Fool's Day, and that I was A NICE PERSON so that I didn't hang up on him or do something very terrible to the plants in his office. Instead, I sleepily fake-laughed and said, "Of course I will. When are we leaving?" All so the dude could have his little (HORRIBLE) joke. The point here? Moms do some weird stuff. They have to be patient, strong, flexible, imaginative, good with numbers, able to do many many MANY tasks at once. They have to be good managers, good listeners, good problem solvers. They have to know when to say no, when to say yes, and when to hold their tongue. They have to get REALLY excited about things that other people would consider very boring and/or ridiculous (today I cheered no less than twelve times in a thirty-minute period as Alice repeatedly showed me how she can sit herself down from the standing position). They have to be expert breakfast/lunch/dinner-getters. (Nearly every day I ran out to get April Fool's Bad Joke Boss his lunch. And also his breakfast. Many times. Occasionally dinner. I worked A LOT. I didn't mind getting out of the office to do the errand - it was a nice break - but can I tell you how much I HATED trying to figure out what the dude wanted to eat every day? I'd suggest no less than six different possibilities, and each time he'd be all, ummmm, until he'd hem and haw and eventually round bad to my first suggestion. Every time. Every day. Lather, rinse, repeat. Doing meals for Alice is a lot like this-- as I'm sure you get what I'm saying now, my old jobs - this newish job--- very similar deals.

Except. Except except except.... the difference is in Alice's smile, her laughter, her sweet face. The open-mouth squeal of glee when she sees me. The way she wants me near. Her tears. Her frustrations. Watching her try so hard to grow and learn. She is the very best project I've ever worked on, the very sweetest bonus I've ever been given, an incomparable love that I can feel down to my toes. This family is, by far, the best organization I will ever work for.


Cherish said...

That was beautiful

Heidi W. said...

That's sweet!

serenity now said...

Here, here!

wandering nana said...

Wonderfully said (is that really a word?)

Eleanor Q. said...

Yes, exactly! Well said. We're doing cpcakes at our non-party too!