Office Mate

I hadn’t thought it through completely. The thought came into my head and I allowed it to breeze out of my lips as easily as a burst of carbon dioxide.

– Jordan, maybe one day next week you can come to work with me.

She’s still on spring break and she’s a little bored. There was more to it than that. For the last few years I’ve been promising to bring her to work with me on “bring your daughter to work day.” Inevitably, I’m travelling on the official day. I wanted to make it up to her.

–Which day, Dad?

Jeanette looked up from her salad. Her eyes said, “are you crazy?” and “now you’ve started it!” Once Jordan asked the question I became keenly aware of how little I’d thought this out. I was still mulling over an idea and Jordan was closing a sale.

– Let me think about it and get back to you.

– How about Tuesday?

I had no reason to object. My calendar was clear. So, we decided on Tuesday. Every day after that decision I was greeted with the question:

– Dad, how many more days until Tuesday?

On Monday, she called me at my office mid-day to ask if she should pack a lunch. I told her that I would be happy to take her to lunch when she came to visit.

– Where would you like to take me?

Closing again. Fortunately, she was delighted to learn there is a Baja Fresh near the office. She can be an easy date.

Anyone who’s followed Jordan’s Journey knows two things about Jordan. First, she can be stubborn as a mule. Second, when she gets agitated about something, everyone around her knows she’s agitated. Neither of those qualities are great fits for a professional office. That’s why Jeanette and I devised a suitable EVAC plan. If Jordan started acting up, Jeanette was ready to start up the Jeep and escort Jordan home. I’m happy to say that said plan was completely unnecessary.

Jordan rose early, had breakfast with me, and was ready to head for the bus before me. She was thrilled to learn that the bus has a special ramp for wheelchairs. She thought it was cool and she talked up the bus driver as he secured her chair. He turned to me and said, “man, she has an amazing attitude!”

She spent the first hour in my office coloring quietly. When it was time for my first meeting, I introduced her to our conference room, and our Wii setup. She split her time over the next couple of hours playing Wii sports, coloring in her books, and doodling on our white boards. When I checked on her, she was giddy. No interest in going home. I gave her a tour of the office, which she insisted doing on foot, not in the chair. After my next meeting, I found her chatting with a couple of strategists. She was smiling and talking about her aspirations for fashion design. She was also wearing her sunglasses indoors. We had lunch and Jordan bought cookies for the office. I figured it was just a matter of time before she told me she was bored and I’d need to call in Jeanette. Nope.

During my next conference call I saw Jordan walk past my office with my boss. They were carrying on as if they’d discovered a new restaurant and wanted to compare notes. I peeked my head out to make sure she wasn’t being a pest and was quickly waved off by the boss. Jordan was sitting comfortably on the sofa in his office, flipping through some of her coloring books.

I imagined I would have to leave the office early to take Jordan home, but we finished up at 6:30. When we got on the bus at the end of the day I asked Jordan if it was a good day. She said, “no, it was an excellent day.”

As a side note, Jordan will have her casts removed this afternoon. Her feet will be free at last. Physical therapy begins immediately and she has some special splints to wear while her feet learn to walk again. So far, everything is going better than planned. She’s looking forward to summer camp, when she aims to pass her swim test, ride a horse, and practice backward somersaults.