I feel like a writing machine. Really. Teri and I are staying at the home of a friend who is out of town, and I’ve got no shame in bragging on our productivity. I’m right now listening to her read our presentation (that will happen in 3 hours) aloud in the other room to time it. We totally finished that last night, but she is a tweaker, so she has spent the last hour tweaking. I made fun of her and told her I’d read whatever she wanted me to in our presentation, as she’s first author, but I was going to stick to the writing project we’d committed to working on. She rolled her eyes at me and kept tweaking.
I have been feeling really lucky in my collaborations lately. I have two for work–Teri and Caitlin. Teri and I went to grad school together, and have an easy familiarity that comes from being trained by the same people in the same place and from long histories of knowing each other and the growing pains of the other’s family, and the growing pains of the tenure track at very different universities. Caitlin and I met my last semester in grad school, and her first (at another university), and we are more age peers than Teri and I, and have an equally comfortable and familiar friendship that flows into our work relationship seamlessly. We all live in different places, but I meet with each of them via skype regularly, and it always feels like I’m out for coffee with a friend, even if we are in our offices or on our couches in different homes in different states. I was recently promoted to Professor (one is hired onto the tenure track as Assistant Professor, tenure makes you Associate Professor which you can remain, at least at my university, for life, and after meeting more milestones, one can apply for promotion to Professor. It’s the last promotion I’ll ever get here. And, yay.), and it is in large part (along with the support of my partner, my own teaching, etc.) because of my work with them. Certainly, they have been professionally fruitful relationships, but I also just love both of them so much. It’s super lucky.
And, then, it’s not. I mean, sustained friendships over time and space don’t just happen. They are give and take, listening–really listening–and advising, and being wrong and not being an asshole (I mean, honestly). So, effortfully lucky, I suppose.
When I called home yesterday and today, each child let me talk to the dog. I feel like those parents whose children appear on the internet to be the storybook kind, filled only with wonder, and not with the real stuff that is childhood when I say this, but my dog is amazing (my children are, too. They are also real children. My dog, I’ve been told, is so cute that it’s hard to believe she’s not a stuffed animal. See? Storybook.). I say that she’s amazing because she is 11 weeks old and she didn’t chew the phone. She sniffed. A victory. For now.