August 1988. Quadras was flourishing. The Perimeter Mall holiday catalog would soon be going to press, and I was in Northside Hospital labor and delivery reviewing the final proofs. My first daughter, Alexandra, was born, and two weeks later I was back at work and she was in her nursery down the hall. Fourteen months later, my second daughter, Charlotte, was born, and five weeks later, we were all back at Quadras in the new two bedroom plus a playroom nursery we had built when adding on studio space for the newly awarded Macy’s Cellar account. (A contract that had us producing 50+ pages a week, 52 weeks a year, for 4+ years.)
Each Monday morning I would arrive loaded down with a weeks worth of baby clothes, bibs, diapers, and food, and collectively, we had 4 cribs, 4 high chairs, 2 playpens, and double the amount of toys for life at home and at Quadras.
The girls rode their big wheels through the studio, modeled for lighting tests, swung from Johnny Jump-Ups in the doorways, took their first steps, and had a kiddie pool in the side yard of our building. In their bedtime prayers they never failed to ask God to bless Ray, Rick, Beverly, and the other employees that were their friends and family, they ate their lunches and celebrated their birthdays in the same kitchen that we have today, (renovated several times since!) and they were on a first name basis with our clients.
Jane, then Carlyn, and then Janis were the amazing women that met us there each morning, cared for my children - the self-proclaimed company mascots, and balanced the unusual daytime routine of life in a photo studio and thriving company. One of my most prized possessions is the hand colored (with crayon), Xerox portraits of the girls from when Jane used to place them, face down, in the copy machine.
That routine lasted for seven years, until Alex went into the first grade, and Charlotte into kindergarten. Taking them to work was ofttimes a crazy and harrowing logistical nightmare, but it worked for me. Older and wiser, I know now that they would have also been fine at home, or in daycare, or with a relative, because with any of the options, I would have still been their mother, and would have loved them still, from the depths of my soul.
My girls say they have few memories of their early years here, but I have many; and today, Alex works at Quadras, and her first office was actually in the little room that had been her bedroom when she was a baby.
Work and motherhood is not for the faint of heart, but to all those mothers that seek to find balance between career and home life, and especially those mothers that have made careers at QI, I wish a heartfelt Happy Mother’s Day!
Cynthia A. Morgan