Last night we went to our favorite - only - local, fresh, cheap, kids-eat-free deli restaurant for dinner (since we don't eat fast food and I REFUSE to continue to pay laughable bills for exhausting dinners in restaurants until my children are old enough to be expected to sit in one place for two hours at a time, we rarely eat out anymore, unless we go to this deli). I ran into a friend who works in the same field I do, whom I haven't seen in probably a year. The first thing she said was, "I love your blog," (why don't you guys speak up every now and then!) and the second was, "There's a job opening up that would be perfect for you."
That got my attention.
Early Intervention is a small, specialized field. I didn't realize exactly how small or specialized it was until I stepped out of it and just assumed I could step right back in at will. There are only a few good Early Intervention positions in town (with bosses that don't make you need to scream in a pillow and pay that doesn't make you sigh), and those positions become available about once every ten years, since people normally don't give them up. One of them may become available in the next few months.
It's the only job (well, as I said, one of a few) that would make me ever seriously consider going back to work at this stage in life. It's a great organization, with at least some personal flexibility and a balance of interaction with clients and administration. If I didn't have children, friends, I would be updating my resume right now. And because it is a small, specialized field, I might even have a chance at getting it.
I listened to her talk about it and tried to imagine what it would be like to go back to work. I would love the work - there's no question about that - but what about everything else? How would Asher (who positively came unglued after three days away from home) deal with being away from me for most of his day? How would my relationship with Silas - who is just now beginning to awaken to the world around him - change? The income would be nice - after buying (no lie) a roof (or the deductible for one, anyway), insulation, air conditioning system, a master cylinder, and a brake system since March, and still needing new tires and a functioning laptop, the income would definitely make our lives more comfortable. And I now understand that positions like this one don't open up every day, or even every year ...
I stood in the restaurant, listening to her talk, remembering all that I loved about working full-time. Then I looked at my children. Asher was standing up in the booth, narrating what was happening in the aquarium just above his head ("Look, there's NEEEmo and DOORY playing together! They're swimming Mama!") and Silas was making every human effort to escape the seatbelt of the high chair, having tired of chewing on the menus.
"No," I said to her slowly. "I think I'll keep the job I have." The position I have now doesn't come along very often, either.