Friday, September 01, 2006

Hi Ho, Hi Ho

Sometimes it's like someone took a knife baby, edgy and dull,
and cut a six-inch valley through the middle of my soul
--The Boss

As you may already know, I'm back at work again--for what reason, I don't know. I'm best with what's tangible; I'm not that good at imagining how I'll feel about something in the future, so I didn't know just how much it would suck to walk out the door that first time. And, although I've gotten more used to it, it's no easier now to leave or to be at work than it was that first day. I miss Mama and 3B so badly that I have a physical sensation as if something is missing from inside of me. Something big, that leaves me a little empty, weak, and hungry.

But, hey, baby needs new shoes. Actually, at the rate the little bean is growing, he's already out of his 3 month onesies. We tried to shoehorn him into them for a day or so more, but he was getting these terrible wedgies because he's just too long for them. A diaper wedgie seemed like a bad thing to Mama and me, so we're starting to set those aside (for the next baby, perhaps? did I just write that? for real?) and move on to the 3-6 month set.

But about work . . . I came back last week, and for the last two weeks I've worked three days a week, but next week I'll have to work full time again. That will be a drag, although Labor Day makes it a short week, so it's not too bad. And while I admit to moderately dissing my coworkers for repeatedly asking the same question prebirth, they have been wonderful before, during, and since 3B's birth. When I came back, they had papered my cube with all the pictures of 3B that I had sent in, plus draped rolls of streamers around the place. I have, of course, left the pictures up--how could I take them down--so I always can see him, and also to remind me of how much my coworkers care for and support me.

Although I suspect that it doesn't have anything to do with me. I believe that it's all about how cute 3B is.

While my coworkers seemed mostly the same at first, and while the work hasn't changed a bit, I find that I'm much different now. I'm more focused on work and on getting things done and moving on, so I can get home on time every day. Not that I used to fruit my days away, but there's much less fruiting around now than before.

That said, I find myself more fascinated than ever by everyone around me, and so engaging in longer conversations with them. I think this is in part because I see everyone anew as someone's growing child, rather than as a fully-formed, complete person. I'm more aware that none of us is ever a finished person--we're all constantly growing and changing as we wade through life and as it washes over us. 3B, through his constant growth and development, reminds me that none of us is ever a static being--we are all constantly growing in one way or another.

Beyond that, I've been taking better care of myself, aware that I need to take care of myself during the day so that I can enjoy hanging with 3B and Mama at night--and so I can give Mama a break to do anything that she can't do with her attention split between herself and 3B. That means that I've been sure to eat lunch every day, and take a lunch break too, neither of which I could be sure to do before 3B came along. Often, since I get up so early these days--hm, wonder why?--I'm hungry before noon, which works out perfectly, since I can eat at my desk while working, then take a walk through the nature preserve behind our building at lunchtime--during which I usually call Mama.

I know, how can I enjoy nature with a phone glued to my ear? But, you must understand, this is a nature preserve with installed sprinklers and a man-made lake with a pump-driven waterfall. So, while I'm sure that something of nature is preserved in there, it's not like walking through one of my favorite wildernesses. After all, one of the borders of the preserve is Interstate 395, so that's not the soughing of the wind in the trees, that's the exodus from DC to the burbs, murmuring along in the background.

Whether I'm talking on the phone or just walking--sometimes it's naptime back at home when I'm out walking--it's a tangible reminder to myself that there is a world outside my gray cube, a reminder that at the end of the day, no matter how rewarding my work, or how much I like my coworkers, I walk away from work and out into the world, which is where I live.


  1. I can't imagine going back to work so soon...I gladly said goodbye to the cube farm 4 years ago and haven't looked back.

    Until now, when 2 babies need new shoes...I might be headed back to corporate land.

    But it's all part of what you said about taking care of ourselves so that we can take care of others. I'm feeling the need for rewarding work outside the home, the kids are needing to be out in the world more, and between the decrepit minivan and the upcoming winter clothes bill, I need some income!

    I bet Mama and 3B are missing you big time on those work days too.

  2. My husband just about died going back to work after our first was born. Especially since he hated his job, his co-workers, his boss, his commute ... everything.

    But then, he didn't have a nature preserve to walk through at lunch.

  3. Anonymous9:38 PM

    There are onesie snap expanders for long torsoed babies. Work really well. I've seen them in the One Step Ahead catalogues and my friends loved them. Helped from going through them so fast.

    While I feel badly for you having to go back to work, I'm glad you miss them so much and aren't all, "Oh, to finally get out of the house! Adult conversation! Not changing diapers!" blah blah blah.

    You're a good dad, and a good man. I get emotional reading posts like this because I know this is exactly how my husband will be once we have kids. But as of today he works from home. Seems to good to be true in regards to raising Little Campens, but he'd still be an emotionl wreck having to travel for his job.

  4. Anonymous12:14 PM

    beautifully written.

    What else to expect from somebody who quotes the boss?

    Wish a lot of happiness to you and your family.