Last night I went to a birthday party for a friend whom I met when I was an intern. While there I also caught up with another friend whom I consider my mentor; she was my boss at that internship. She helped me figure out which side was up when I was starting my career as a reporter and when I was figuring out where to go next. I used to babysit her daughters. In fact, when her youngest was born, I drove the older daughter to the hospital so she could meet her baby sister, and said baby sister was, until I had my own kids, the youngest human being I had ever laid eyes on. She’s looking at colleges now and last night I gave her mom an earful of advice about what kind of program she ought to be thinking about. When I left that job, they joked I was doing it for the costume access my new job would give me; last Friday my daughter came to work with me and spent half the day with a seam-ripper in her hand, entertaining the costume crew. Then I exchanged cell phones with another woman to admire each other’s kids — I babysat her son through the worst of his Star Wars obsession as a kindergartner and banged out punk versions of Return to Sender on his drum set (oh how the neighbors must’ve loved us), and now he’s a dashing 18-year-old on the cusp of college.