But the work I do at home was so different--so gloriously different--from the work I do at, well, work. For starters, the pay is much better. There's no amount of money in the world that can buy the joy I feel when Hadley smiles or coos or sings. (Yes! She sings! Last night at church, I heard a funny noise beside me; I turned to Jason, who was holding Hadley, and I saw that Hadley was singing along with the congregation. My eyes filled up. I tell you, there's nothing in the world that could have prepared me for the way joy just walks right up and smacks me in the face when Hadley surprises us with a new little glimpse into her personality.)
And then there's the promise of something new every day. At my other job, we have a good little system for publishing the magazine that generally works, and if something out-of-the-ordinary happens, that's not such a good thing. But with Hadley, I'm excited to see what will happen each day. Sure, we'll sing "Twinkle, Twinkle" 98 times and read books and have "tummy time," but she seems always to have a little gift up her sleeve, a new little skill she's going to try out. I love it.
(This cracks me up. Jason says she's thinking, "Mama, I'm goin' fast!" She's really not. I promise.)
And then there's the sheer freedom from deadlines and expectations and budgets and all the yucky stuff that comes with being a gainfully employed grown-up. (Ugh, and HR departments. How I loathe HR departments!) Hadley is so busy learning about the world (her little world) that I can't help getting drawn into her discoveries. She doesn't know about the stuff the can squash a person's spirit. She just knows her butterfly mobile and her daddy's kisses and the satisfaction of good rest and warm mama milk. Living my life in her realm is such refreshing fun, I hate to leave it, even for a minute.
But I wrote not long ago that I hope Hadley learns how to make decisions that are hard, and that's the decision Jason and I made when I chose to go back to work. Truly, I have a schedule that rocks: Mondays, Wednesdays and half-day Fridays in the office; the rest of the time at home with Hadley--editing while she naps, checking email while she sings along with her crazy flashing star, generally figuring it out day-to-day. And I'm grateful to have a job that I enjoy, especially at a time when many people would love to have any job at all.
It's just that nothing compares with hangin' out with Hadley. So tomorrow, I'm going to snuggle her a little longer when I nurse her, and I'm going to sing "Twinkle, Twinkle" a 99th time, and I'm going to tell her a million times how much I love her.
Yup, tomorrow I'm going back to work--to the best job in the whole wide world.