cruel and unusual

There is nothing rational about my feelings about dropping my three month old child off for daycare. But I’m his Mommy, so I don’t have to be rational, right?

My brain knows and understands that he will be fine. In fact, he will be more than fine. He is in the care of a licensed facility with women who just ooh and ah over him every time we go in. They are more than capable of feeding, changing, and playing with him. He will adjust and get used to the environment and eventually nap just fine. The other little ones flock to him when he comes in, and he loves to watch them. It will be good for him.

But my heart says that no one knows him like I do. No one else anticipates when he is starting to get hungry or tired, or when he needs his pacifier, or when he wants a change in scenery or to sit up instead of laying down. No one else can get him to giggle quite the same, or get him to tell them a story full of coos and squeals quite the same. I have a happy baby because I know what makes him happy.

My brain knows and understands that he doesn’t love me any less, nor do I love him any less, just by virtue of the fact that he has to go to daycare. I am still his Mommy, and nothing is going to change that.

But my heart says that it doesn’t matter that daycare doesn’t change how we feel about each other. It says that is all the more reason to just stay home and cuddle him. I have nurtured him since the very moment he came into existence as a few multiplying cells, and I should be allowed to continue to do so.

My brain knows and understands that this is just how it has to be. I have substantial student loan debt that must be paid. We want to build a house eventually, and in order to do that we are going to have to try to save some more money. I went to school for years and years in order to become an attorney and I do like my job. If I want to keep it, I have to work.

But my heart says that I did this all wrong. We waited until after I finished school to start our family, and thought that was absolutely the right decision. But maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t. I never imagined the love I would feel for my own child, or that I might want to stay home with him. I never pictured myself as a stay at home mother. I thought I would be bored out of my mind. I could not have been more wrong. There is nothing more that I want in this world to be at home with that baby boy of mine, feeding him, playing with him, and watching every moment of his every day.

And that is what is quite possibly the hardest part of all of this to swallow: I inflicted this upon myself. This is all a direct result of the decisions I have made. I am not a person who lives with regrets, but I truly regret those decisions today. Maybe in the future it won’t be so heart-wrenchingly awful and I will be able to enjoy my work again. But for now? This arrangement is just cruel and unusual punishment.

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un, एक, një, uno, yksi, ein, ένας, en, um, 一个, jeden, isa, אחד

The number one has been on my mind a lot lately, because I learned a very valuable lesson this week.  It is a lesson that you may think is common sense.  I would agree but I also will say that the situation in which I learned this lesson was definitely a situation rife with a lack of common sense.

One little word can make the world of difference.  The inclusion or exclusion of one little word can have enormous, life-changing consequences in any type of case.  But it seems to me that this is especially true in family law cases.  Words like primary, or shall, or exclusive, or may, or joint, or sole.

It can mean people not doing things they clearly agreed to do, or doing things they clearly agreed not to do.  It can mean the difference between making ends meet or getting your home foreclosed on or your car repossessed.  It can mean a drastic change in legal custody or physical care of children that was not intended.  It can mean another attorney seizing on that inclusion or omission and running with it no matter the clear spirit of an agreement or decree, and no matter how ethical that behavior may or may not be.

I’ve always known that the legal world is one of technicalities, and accuracy is paramount when you are constantly in that kind of domain.  I would say that I look for those same inclusions or omissions to protect my client’s interests just like any other lawyer would.  But I know the difference between protecting my client’s interests and taking advantage of a situation when it is clear to everyone involved that my argument is absurd to begin with.  I would never give the kind of advice that was given in the case I’ve dealt with this week, because I know that it is wrong.

I know where to draw the line.  I guess that is one difference between this other attorney and me.

And I like that one difference.

like a petulant four year old

I’m having one of those days.

You know the type of day I’m talking about: you can’t get anything done to save your life because that thing you had to finish ended up taking forever, you drive an hour each way to get work done on your car and spend six hours in a town you don’t know only to get home later than planned without the work being completed because the service manager didn’t tell you that he needed both keys with the car in order to program the remote start, you try to work remotely but the wifi connection is so crappy that you keep getting disconnected and are only slightly productive anyway, and you come home to realize that the stack of dishes next to the sink means that it’s your turn for that lovely little chore.

I am cranky.  If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to act like a petulant four year old and throw a temper tantrum.  Or maybe I’ll just settle for a giant bowl of peppermint ice cream . . .

otherwise engaged

Funny, I wanted nothing more than to get bar results and get on with life. That’s exactly what happened.

After Seattle, it was an agonizing couple of weeks until bar results came out. Actually, I’m not sure agonizing even begins to describe the feeling, particularly in the last few days. The trouble with knowing the date and approximate time that the results will be released is that it makes you absolutely neurotic. I never thought I would be one to lose two nights of sleep beforehand because my mind wouldn’t shut off. I also never thought I would be one to hit refresh probably half a million times in the 36 or so hours leading up to the release.

On September 13th, I found out that I passed the bar exam. The feeling when I saw my name on the pass list is pretty much indescribable. (Oh! The immense relief! Happy tears! The weight of a thousand worlds suddenly lifted off my shoulders! More happy tears!) I worked between then and the swearing-in ceremony September 23rd, sort of in a state of limbo. My boss started calling me his associate, but because I didn’t have that handy dandy little attorney pin number, I still couldn’t truly do anything on my own. I was still putting his name at the bottom of documents, and getting his approval on everything, even the most basic of letters.

On September 23rd, I was sworn in by my favorite Iowa Supreme Court Justice with over 200 other new attorneys, many of whom are my friends. It was a great day to share with them, and Ryan and my Mom (and Ryan’s family who had a pretty strong showing, I might add). We celebrated that evening with some of my law school faves, and then it was right down to it.

On the morning of Monday the 26th, a mere three days after being sworn in, I was off on a 40 minute drive to a nearby town for a hearing. All by myself. And then that afternoon, I had a new client appointment of my own for estate planning. All by myself. Since then, I’ve had another court hearing, drafted a will and powers of attorney, and had a new child custody client come in (among many other things). You guessed it, all by myself.

So what I’m saying is twofold really:

1. I’ve been so busy that I’ve barely had time to feel guilty for not blogging. Though there has been some guilt — I realized that unless people could see my Facebook account, they might not know what my fate was with respect to the bar exam. For that, my apologies.

2. Passing the bar and getting sworn in has somehow managed to make me revert to being a toddler or young child. I get so excited when I get to do something “all by myself,” in case you didn’t notice. My legal career is in its infancy stage, though . . . so I guess it’s pretty fitting.

Although I’ve been otherwise engaged, I hope to start making it back here a bit more often. I’ve certainly missed it!