How does the saying go? It’s getting down to the wire… Who thought that up? Am I picking up these 60’s TV show Batman references? It’s subliminally absorbing into my spongy brain. I have the decision to make – work or stay-at-home…
Do you ever feel like you are missing out on things with your child? I am feeling that way right now. Yesterday, I mentioned in a footnote, that I am trying to prepare for a trial that starts on July 18th. This is one of the biggest cases I’ve ever been involved in during my career. And while I prepare papers to be filed with the Court today, (one of which is 55 pages alone) with 31 exhibits, objections to their evidence, my own papers, I am realizing that there is very little time to make a decision.
I’ve spent three years of my life preparing this case for trial. I have taken testimony from over a dozen witnesses, attended depositions taken by others, sifted through five boxes and four binders of evidence, attended inspections, gone to court to get access to additional evidence and investigated through the internet and through use of investigators and experts, doctors, engineers, scientists and coroners. The case involves the death of two 20 year old girls and it is heartbreaking.
It is and has been my case and the vast majority of my practice for the past two years. So, while my husband/partner waits for his verdict (it’s been 30 days since his trial began) I am trying to decide whether and to what extent I can participate in the trial of this upcoming case, and to what extent, I will choose to give it up to the daddy and stay home with my son.
It is a nice choice to be able to make in a way. If I worked a regular 9-5 job, that would be difficult in its own way but I could be sure that when I was home, work would not stick to me as it does now. I might have lots of other issues related to child care and after school activities if I had the 9-5 job. I know others have difficult choices to make. I can look around at what choices others make all day, but in the end, I have to make the choices with which I’m faced.
I have no fear of the courtroom. In fact, I love giving opening and closing statements and cross-examining witnesses. There is nothing that can match the excitement of those parts of a trial. But when you practice like we do, on the side of the underdog – you have to put your evidence on first and prove your case and it involves 18-20 hour days. Really. Sometimes you go to bed at 2 a.m. and get up at 5 or 5:30. And there is no guarantee you will win. You have to depend on others for whether you deserve to be paid for your efforts. It’s a lot like working on commission. In fact, it is working on commission – in a very big way.
So, maybe it should be a no-brainer. Stay home with my son. Enjoy his company. Play with him. Teach him all those things I blog about in flowery language. But I know myself. Every minute of every day, I will be second-guessing what my husband does or does not do in trial. I will be wondering what is going on – knowing I can do it better because I’ve lived it for three years (the last two of which have been the most intense). I HATE the thought of giving that up.
Then I have to think of how much upheaval my son has already undergone in the last month while his dad and Jessica have been almost completely unavailable. He’s been saying “Daddy and Jessica are using the vacuum” for the whole month. This is a reference to the week before the trial when the office was broken into and I took him down the hall away from broken glass while – yes- daddy and Jessica vacuumed up the glass bits with the loud and scary vacuum. And yes, he was separated from them while they did this task. He’s been separated from them ever since.
In the past month, his language has grown. His sentences are more complete. He’s physically taller. He is growing more physically agile, hitting baseballs and throwing them overhand. (He still can’t catch a ball to save his life.) He’s become almost completely (knock on wood a 1000 xxx) fully potty trained.
His growth is almost scary. It is amazing. I’ve been right here for it but I feel now like I’m starting to miss it. With all the papers I’ve been writing and putting together for Court, when the therapists are not with him, he has learned to play by himself. Yes, it is a good thing in a lot of ways, but I still miss just being with and playing with him. We still read stories at night (Batman) and we still play at least one game of some kind a day but he falls asleep while I’m still working and then, with my eyes half open I prepare a post for the blog, give him a breathing treatment while falling asleep myself and then I go to bed.
I love this boy. My whole intent when I got pregnant was to be phased out of the practice and raise my child. I need that even more with the child I have been blessed to have. And my child needs the consistency of at least one person in his life. It appears that will have to be me.
As I wrote this, he woke himself up and is laying in bed crying. Right now, he’s crying because he misses Jessica and Daddy. Daddy came in to make him feel better.
So, in the end, it looks as though my lawyer shoes will have to stay dusty in the closet and my running shoes will be worn a little further. I will relinquish some control. It remains to be seen – how much. Love for my son wins. As it should, always.