Monday, June 28, 2010

So Long, Farewell, auf Wiedersehen

Regrettably, there was no Dunkin' Donuts farewell party for me in the firm cafeteria this morning when I arrived to collect my belongings.

I whisked my little boy through the front entrance in his stroller and down the hall.

"This is where Mommy used to work."

My name plate was still hanging outside my office door. All of my personal effects had been boxed up by a legal assistant already. There wasn't much work to be done or celebrating to be had. I, at the very least, deserved doughnuts, or so I thought.

It's been one year since I learned in a 30 second "conversation" over the phone that my maternity leave had morphed into "eternity leave." Of course, in the past year, I have earned the title, "Employee of the Month (or make that Year)," (along with many of you, I imagine). So, today, when I packed up my car's back seat with my framed diplomas, state bar admissions certificates, and my super cool personal note from Spike Lee, it was bittersweet.

I had my baby with me, two strollers from his fleet, two blankies from his collection, a Thomas the Train bath toy, a little fire truck and a stray plastic fish. I watched him doze off in my rear view mirror, his chubby cheeks pink from the record heat. All was right in the world.

I don't remember what was playing on the radio, but in my head, I heard:

There's a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall
And the bells in the steeple too
And up in the nursery an absurd little bird
Is popping out to say "cuckoo"
Cuckoo, cuckoo

Regretfully they tell us Cuckoo, cuckoo
But firmly they compel us Cuckoo, cuckoo
To say goodbye . . .
. . . to you

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night
I hate to go and leave this pretty sight

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu
Adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu

So long, farewell, au revoir, auf wiedersehen
I'd like to stay and taste my first champagne

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye
I leave and heave a sigh and say goodbye -- Goodbye!
I'm glad to go, I cannot tell a lie

I did leave one thing behind. Underneath my name plate on the door, I wrote on a post-it:

"is gone on eternity leave."

In the meantime, life certainly goes on . . .

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