Friday, August 04, 2006

Moving On and Up--In Style

No longer behind bars.

Today is my wife's last day at one of the best law firms in the world. She's been practicing her profession at its top, with and among its very best, for nine years. She made her way well despite the atmosphere of the place, which, like that of nearly all law firms, tends to select against women, minorities, and (perhaps most of all) mothers.

Being all three has been hard. She would take the kids in the morning after I head off to the train and to my students, and I take them from the babysitter when I return just before dinner. Each night she'd call after Q and The Boy had polished off noodles or strips of tortillas, and give a status report. Some nights she'd be on her way out the door, but just as many times I'd be putting them--and myself--to bed before she crept in. Work came on Friday afternoons and flooded the weekends; it pulled her out of town to Texas and to Idaho and to North Carolina. They put a lock on her office door for privacy when she pumped milk for both her children; they took it away the moment she retired the pump. They pitted her against her male coevals who either had no families or were free enough from them to always work--anytime and for any amount of time.

After all this, and she's changed so little. Wiser no doubt, a little more cynical about the law perhaps. And tired. Otherwise, though, she has survived with little scarring.

The time has come to leave on her own terms. After a week off, she'll begin showing up to a new, bigger office at a luxury clothing company that you've probably heard of.

I haven't written that much about her as such since I've started this little distraction. The kids are always doing remarkable things, which makes them easy to remark upon. And becoming often makes for a better story than simply being. Our lives often seem like the scenery in which their lives unfold.

This is her becoming. Congratulations, love.

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