Yesterday a Park Ranger came in with his dog. ( If I said a Park K-9 Ranger came in, I am not sure to which it would refer.) The way people reacted, the K-9 officer came in and incidentally his man came along, too. Without much fanfare, the word spread and workers gathered to meet Thor (or possibly Thorn), a 2 year old German Shepherd (from Germany, even) A lovely, calm, friendly dog.
That was nothing compared to today when a former co-worker came in with her husband and 2 month old baby. Forget the husband, although he was friendly. pleasant and attractive. The word 'baby' brings them running. Then baby made a little noise and even more showed up as if by magic. How we cluster! ooohs, aaahs and almost reaching out to touch, but not wanting to overstep. What an adoring crowd surrounds any baby or small child that makes its appearance!
It is exciting to share in a co-worker's happiness. A break in the routine is always welcome. But, I think there is something more. Something we do not want to acknowledge out loud because it is too sad and painful. Despite all the talk about 'getting out in the world,' I think there is a deep yearning in many, if not most, women to be with children, to be home. (Although, it is admittedly very nice to be able to enjoy cuteness and freshness, but not have to deal with the mess and the fuss sometimes.) I think most women work more because they think they have to than because they want to. Or maybe I just am putting too much of my own feelings into this eager gathering.