Archive for December, 2012

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The Mother of All Field Trips

December 11, 2012

During my last year of law school, my girls were in 3rd and 5th grades.

Before I went to law school, when the girls were in even younger grades, my job was all we had.  I was a single mom, and while we were making ends meet, we didn’t have a huge nest egg.  I didn’t play around with time off.   Then, when I was in my first 2 years of law school, my time was tight.  Again, time off wasn’t easy to get.

But during that last year of law school, I was more flexible, and I thought, “this is my chance!”

My chance to chaperone a field trip.

I picked one trip per kid, and I committed to it, and I went.

With Emma’s class, I went to Wolf Hollow, and saw, well, wolves. It was cold.  Our bus got lost.  The kids were cute.  It was fun.

With J’s class, I waited for the summer (I probably had already graduated, come to think of it), and I went to George’s Island.  That was kind of a magical day.  It was warm, the kids were soft and sweet and young.  It was also a trip where I got to know a few moms that I hadn’t really known before (thanks to law school and the intensity that it brought into my life).  I have pictures of J and her friends from that trip that I cherish.  We got sunburns.  We had fun.

And that was that.  My chaperoning days were done.

Until now.

Emma’s crew team is going on a trip.  During February vacation.  A week long vacation.

Last year, they went to Texas.  Where it’s warm in February, and they can go on the water without risking hypothermia.  This year, Texas got too expensive (or the dorms were demolished, or something), and so they’re going to Georgia.

And they needed chaperones. They sent a general plea.  “We need 4 people!”  I looked at the email wistfully thinking, “Emma wouldn’t want me to go . . . ”

Apparently, they didn’t get the 4 people.  Because a second email came.

I don’t know how the coaches came up with their list, but they came up with a list of about 15-20 parents (out of hundreds) that they thought would be “great chaperones!”

I forwarded that email to Emma: “Can I go?”

And she responded:  “Are you serious??!!  I wanted to ask you, but I figured you had to work!!!”

NO!  I do not have to work!!

I put my ducks in a row at work, tallied up my vacation days, saw that this was doable, and signed up.

And now – I’m chaperoning!

What am I chaperoning?

Oh, about 60 boys and 30 girls, ages 16-18, on a plane, through a layover, to a hotel, to a race course, into Atlanta, etc., etc.

What the heck am I thinking?

I’m thinking:  These kids are absolutely awesome.  I know many of them.  Know of the rest.  Think the world of them.  It’s going to be great. I’m also thinking:  Em wants me there!  Hooray!!

(In fact, she was telling me that she was scoping out other “cool” parents to try and get their kids to talk them into going, so I could have cool people to hang out with.)

Now let’s just hope that I don’t get some random trial scheduled for that week . . . .

 

 

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Happy Birthday to Me!!

December 4, 2012

Today is my 40th Birthday.

It is also the day that I came home from the Virgin Islands for the last time.  Trial is over.  I’m done.  (Well, I may need to call into a mediation on Friday, and I may need to write One More Brief, but I don’t have to go back.)

Despite the fact that I had a trial yesterday, David and I proceeded with our plans to throw a Birthday Bash this past weekend.  Saturday night.

It was amazing.

I invited 60 people, and 40 came.  No kids.  There was dancing, there was food.  Friends and family came from as far away as California, and as close as D.C. (8 hour drive!!) and Connecticut (mom and dad!!).  We worked hard to make it a good night for everyone, and I really think we succeeded.  We rented a space because our home isn’t big enough/laid out right for such a crowd, and I think we managed to make it a great place.

___________________

I woke up today on my 40th birthday, alone, in a hotel in the Virgin Islands.  It wasn’t depressing.  It felt good because the massive stress I’ve been dealing with lately is behind me, and I was able to just – reflect.

And upon reflection, I decided:  I am 40 years old, and I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot.  I have an amazing family; the family I came from, and the family I created, both.  I have friends all over the country, and even the world, that I can count on.  I have a job and a career that I like.  My colleagues  –  both those I work with, and those I work AGAINST – respect me and enjoy spending time with me. I like myself.

Seriously.  I’m 40, and I like myself, and I like my life.

What else could I possibly ask for?

 

[well, money.  i could ask for money.  but today, I’m 40, and I’m grateful.]