Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Hi Betty!

I've been carrying your xmas card with your email address on it around in my purse for, well, must be 4 months now, and am finally managing to use it. Hope this is still your address...

That's exciting news about your going back to grad school. Has that started? How is it going, if so? You also mentioned becoming 50. What the hell are you talking about? I have no idea. Fifty? What's that?

I recently returned to the working-mom version of life. I got laid off from my last tech-writing job about 5 years ago, right after 9/11 and haven't ever gone back. I was working part-time, from home, and was making close to $90K/yr doing close to nothing. Where was I going to find another job like that? Nowhere, right.

Plus, even cushy as that was, I felt like my kids weren't getting a very good deal. Plus, although I loved (*LOVED*) tech writing for the first 10 or so years, by the end I hated it. Found it totally demoralizing. That whole internet bubble thing made for a very unsatisfactory professional life. The get in, get out, get rich mentality didn't leave much room for making any kind of a decent product.

And since it was right around the time that Chris finished his MBA and was finishing his CPA, and he was working again, I readily converted to full-time stay-at-home mom. And that was great for five years except for the having no money part of it. Whenever we decided I had to to back to work because we really had to have the money (actually, Chris has thought that all along) one of the kids would get sick, or something would come up that clearly illustrated that we needed one person to be dedicated to all this home and family stuff.

But I got caught when the secretary at the girls' school had to quit for health reasons. I'd regularly filled in for her when she had to take days off for appointments and such. So I was kind of a natural to take over the job. Now I'm the "Office Lady" at the Davis Waldorf School. It's close to full-time, but it's at school and it has a certain amount of flexibility. And tho the salary is fairly low, it includes tuition remission, including after-school care, so, that adds a lot to the bottom line. All the other staff are also moms with two kids and we're all friends. And it's a fun job. Back to my clerical roots, only now I also give out band-aids.

I've been doing the job since about January and it's working out well. I like the job and we are having no trouble at all spending every cent of additional income. My house is messier than ever and my kids are eating considerably more packaged food than they ever have, but they consider that a great thing.

Today is a little dicey. It's 10:45 on Tuesday morning, both girls are still sound asleep, and I am in my pajamas. This is because, even though Larissa (my 8y.o) and I have both been sick since last week,and even though it was raining, we all went to the A's/Yankees Opening Day game in Oakland last night. I really had intended to stay home with Larissa and just let Chris and Lana go... when it came right down to it I couldn't do it.

It seemed like it was going to turn out to be the kinduv event that Lana (my 11y.o) would still be talking about in her 40s and Larissa would always glower and say, "And our stupid mom kept me home just because I had a little cold." (She'd leave out the part about the 102.5 degree fever.) (No, I didn't let her go to a ballgame with a high fever. It was down to the 99s by the time we went.) Anyway, we went and had a great time. But today I'm sick as ever and, like I said, the girls aren't even bothering to wake up. I feel guilty leaving my poor co-workers to fend without me. We don't have a lot of redundancy in the office.

Whoa. This message is getting way too long. I'm going to shorten it and post the excess on my totally lame and boring blog.

Wow. Your daughter is living on Haight Street. Wow. That so blows my mind. I guess you'd told me she was living in the dorms before, yes? Somehow that isn't as next-generation-y as living on her own in the city. I think I'm having trouble believing that's not still me, and you, ... us.

Great to hear from you!


1 comment:

September said...

Hi Ellen,
I don't know who Betty is, but reading this blog, I learned more about you.
It's been a while since we've spoken or I've seen you around AW (I've gone in less and less myself, took up too much of my time and I was neglecting home duties) - so is twas nice reading about you here.

And, sorry to tell you (not reallY) that I am tagging you for an AW meme. The last meme I see you participated in was in January, so I figured it was time for a new one. I like this one, because you have to write a lot about yourself. It is simple and fun to do and I think you'll enjoy it. I know I'll enjoy coming back and reading your answers. Take care,