There is a season
Today was my work friend Julia's first day back from maternity leave, and her delicious baby's first day being dropped off at the babysitter's. Like me, Julia has little interest in being a full-time stay-at-home mom. She likes her job, and as much as she loves her son, she always said she knew staying home would eventually drive her crazy. But she still came to work with tears in her eyes and a quaver in her voice. Sometimes, neither choice feels like the right choice. When that day comes for me, if I'm lucky enough to still have a job to go back to in this terrifying economic climate, I will at least have the comfort of dropping my baby off at my parents' house, to be spoiled all day by my mother and newly-retired father. But I bet I'll still cry in the car on the way to work.
This week is the annual local street festival, and everyone on staff has permission to go down for three-hour lunch breaks, as long as we pass out fliers for a fundraiser while we're there. The girl I was supposed to go with ditched me for legitimate reasons, but I ended up going with my old officemate, who had to leave for another job when his grant expired in August. Most of the people I work with are much older than I am, and even the ones close to my age never seem interested in hanging out socially, so it's been a recent development to have coworkers who are also friends. We have a lot in common, he and I, and I miss having him around, miss having someone to send crazy BoingBoing links to and bitch with over people's inability to accept basic scientific principles as fact. It was a perfect Fall day, with egg-blue skies and just a bit of a breeze. We gossiped and ate ourselves half-sick, and happily, it was just like old times.
When I got home from work, I let Indy out into the backyard and followed him with his rope toy in hand. He saw me get it down from the shelf and bounded along at my side, ears alert, eyes alight, his expression fairly shouting Throw! the! rope! So I gave it a good fling, and when Indy skidded to a halt and grabbed for it, he missed, scooping up a big mouthful of grass clippings instead. He whirled, grabbed the rope, and then stopped. Realization dawned on his face, the toy dropped from his jaws, and because dogs can't spit, he stood there working his mouth in an exaggerated smack smack smack, trying to dislodge all the dry grass from his tongue. And because I am an asshole, I laughed and laughed. My God, I love that dog.