Thursday, January 31, 2008


Last month, I was interviewed by a consultant in preparation for a staff retreat. As part of the process I was asked to describe my perfect work day. I asked if this was a trick question, as it was clearly an oxymoron. Once the consultant assured me she really needed an answer, I refrained from saying “A vacation day,” and instead concocted a scenario that involved “proactive research” and plowing uninterrupted through my to do list. When we got to the retreat and shared our scenarios with each other, I was surprised I had forgotten to include “fully stocked Coke machine” in my day, as so many of my coworkers had. My answer was clearly not as inspired as some of the others.

It would be much easier for me to construct my perfect after-work day. Last night I saw a glimpse of it when Connor acted the perfect amount of silly during dinner, the amount that caused his parents to chuckle and Chloe to dissolve into fits of laughter while imitating him (rather than the amount that makes us give him stern warnings about table manners). And I saw it again when Chloe finished her food and, instead of sticking her feet on the table and laughing as we shook our heads no, she hilariously requested that we turn on “Doe Diedo Doe.” (She doesn’t quite have the “g” sound down yet, but we know she means Go Diego Go.) A couple of nights ago I saw it when Connor played his memory game with us and didn’t cheat or try to hit me when I got a match. I also see it when Chip does the dishes after dinner while I go upstairs to cook in Chloe’s pretend kitchen, or when he gives the kids their bath and allows me a minute of time alone.

I know that all those things will never happen on the same night, just as I know there will never be a work day when I take vacation time and someone else plows through my to do list. But I do know that every night when Chip and the kids come home, they will all scream “Mommy!” and give me kisses and hugs. That's the moment when all the other scenarios fall away and I realize that this is, indeed, a perfect day.


Unknown said...

Well now I feel guilty because I was thinking at the beginning that my perfect after-work day would be a vacation day.

Sassy Molassy said...

A vacation day like, on the beach? Because that's my perfect work/after-work day.