Well - we survived. Jaz had her surgery and is going brilliantly. The kids did their speeches and went well. They coped with the fact that I couldn't be there. And I'm still standing after two days at work.
I had to ring Centrelink to tell them I had a new job. The guy on the phone said "so is this the first time you've worked since you had kids?". I said, um, yes. Not quite sure why he asked, but he must have had my very empty work record up on his computer screen.
No one at work made fun of me because I was back at work for the first time in years. They were friendly and relieved to have someone actually doing my job (they have been muddling along with casuals for a while). I even seemed to be able to contribute something constructive beyond 'where is the stationary cupboard?' and 'what's the password to get into this computer?' (I was only told, oh, about 10 different passwords for all the systems I have to access). I actually enjoyed it and didn't feel like a bozo.
Life experience does count for something. Getting older does help. Yay! I'm not afraid to ask questions to get something done. I'm not afraid of talking to people I don't know at all. When you have kids you can't avoid the things that you don't like or put off tasks that seem hard. You just have to get problems sorted and solved. No one else is going to fix it for you. And I noticed that my self-confidence is much stronger than when I worked in my 20's.
So overall I feel weary and in information overload, but encouraged. Encouraged my brain can still work, encouraged I can still contribute in the workplace and most of all, encouraged that my family still seem to love me!