balloons.gif“Surreal” is the word my neighbour R and I spontaneously used when I shared with her how wierd it felt yesterday to stow away my personal belongings, turn on the out-of-the-office voice and e-mail message and say goodbye to work for the next 6 months.

It was with a mixture of feelings that I left the office — so glad that I have the time to spend relaxing before the birth and getting to know our littlest family member, but also tinged with some sadness that I’ll be missing partaking in the daily life of those I work with.

It’s particularly the case when you leave with the kind of amazing sendoff that I was treated to on Wednesday. With a bottle of Itoen Peach Tea in one hand (a recent refreshing discovery), and pen and papers in the other, I headed down to one of our conference rooms expecting to spend the next hour discussing budgets. Instead, dozens of colleagues and a table groaning with delectable treats ranging from choux puffs to tiramisu and some sort of fantastic granola-type clusters revealed themselves. It was a surprise baby-going-away party!

I’m so touched by the planning (people running interference, food secreted away in offices, the organizing), the party and the good wishes crammed in a giant card we’re keeping to show Calvin when he’s older. Not to mention everyone’s incredible generosity that will ensure Jay and I can get Calvin whatever he needs in the coming months. (And don’t worry folks, there’s no way we’re spending our gift checks on diapers, it’ll be something significant.)

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