Friday, February 5, 2010

Filling Time

So what do you do when your biggest case and the main focus of your 12-month career as a litigator just disappears in a puff of smoke? Apparently, you take the day off and go to the zoo!

Yesterday morning I popped into one of my favorite partner's offices. He does a lot of securities litigation work, which I love, and I figured I should start finding some cases to add to my personal docket. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: So... you have any work for me?
Partner: Get out.
Me: What?
Partner: Didn't [big case] settle last night?
Me: Yes...
Partner: And how many hours did you bill in January?
Me: 203
Partner: Go home. Go home and don't come back for two days.

So I did, pausing only to call my grandparents to see if Landon and I could visit them in San Antonio the next day. I sprang Landon early from daycare (something that initially caused him great displeasure as I'd interrupted some sort of cooking experiment and he was patiently waiting his turn to stir the batter; I sat down and watched the magic unfold), and stopped at HEB to pick up something for dinner. When JP got home from his seminar at 6:45 I was cooking burgers while the french fries, personally cut by me, were crisping in the oven. And oh man, were those burgers were tasty- with sharp cheddar cheese and fresh slices of avocado, tomato, and romaine lettuce, all stacked on lightly toasted ciabatta buns. Yum. Working a half day can be delicious.

Then at 10 a.m. this morning Landon and I headed South on I-35 toward San Antonio. I sang along to the radio while Landon read "Dear Zoo" over and over again. We enjoyed a lovely lunch with my grandparents at their retirement community. Landon was on his best behavior and was fawned over by every resident we passed. He also got a tour around the front pond with my Grandpa.

On the drive over Landon had randomly remembered that my grandparents' community had a pond. He asked if there were ducks and then after about 3 minutes of silently staring out the window, he said, "I no bite the ducks." I told him that was probably a good idea and then after another few minutes of silence Landon said, "it makes them sad." Too true.

After lunch we became members of the San Antonio zoo. Landon was so excited to see all the animals in his favorite book spring to life.

The giraffe! The giraffe Mama! It's too tall!

(That is a "Dear Zoo" reference to those not up on their toddler literature.)

Next up was a staring contest with a rhinoceros.

and then some bonding with a brown bear.

Landon blew him lots of kisses as we walked away.

And just like last time, the "Mangoes" caused the greatest excitement and we stopped by their little habitat at least five times.

It was a wonderful day -- gorgeous weather, a quiet blackberry, and a special trip my little man. If there's anything I've learned so far as a lawyer (and as working mom generally), it's that you have to seize your down time when you can get it. I'm so glad for today.


  1. That sounds ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL! So glad you got two days to just relax and do fun things! "I no bite the ducks" HA HA HA! That is WAY too cute- I love it.

    I can't wait until the bar is over, I will have a whole week to do whatever I want- I think you inspired me to take Jacob to the zoo :)

  2. That is a wonderful gift. Glad for you, glad your case settled.

  3. Your firm sounds awesome. Not only this, but the thing about changing departments in a single day -- I feel like it would take a month to get that approved at my firm. (In fact, even when I wanted to get work from a closely related department, it took a month to get approved!)

  4. I love the way your firm sounds. That's the kind of place I think I would like to work next.

  5. Landon may like the zoo themed book called "Hippo? No, Rhino!" which now supplies one of my son's silliness moments....he likes to see if I will properly respond when he says hippo.