Joy Created

They sat around the table at the end of the day. They chatted while they worked. Parallel play among colleagues.

They share stories of their days:

A field trip to see butterflies and hold the tarantula, an iPad full of pictures and Tweets as proof.

A budget meeting and a plan for next year already in the works, a checklist with fewer boxes empty.

A day without testing, a sweater for comfort, as armor ’til the bell rings.

Stories of the future: Drive to Arizona or to Newport Beach? Each way with a bright spot, but both missing something, someone. A daughter in college. One twin in a tournament. “I guess his dad and I will have to play pickleball.”

Smiles pitch for the beach as each imagines their own toes in the sand, their own eyes on the horizon.

Stories of a past life: Driving a van full of kids to a recycling center. The door falls off, of the van, not the center. “Would you like me to recycle that, ma’am?”

Laughter fills the space like the lemongrass scent that gets sprayed from the corner.

Stories of motherhood: Wishing fora body scanner that could determine the level of a child’s illness. A quantifiable way to determine if staying home was the right choice. “I’d better be careful what I wish for; by that point, they’ll probably send robots for my kid.”

Full-on giggles erupt, the release of exhaustion and elation. The creation of joy.

It was the end of the day before Spring Break, the last minutes of the day. We sat around the table. We chatted while we worked. Parallel play among colleagues. Joy among friends.

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