Thursday, May 30, 2013

Graduation is coming

My graduation is coming up—Saturday to be exact. The entire idea of going through with the formal ceremony seems a little weird to me, but I’m going to force myself to follow through and try to enjoy it.

First of all, I don’t like people making a big deal over me. My sister and my niece are coming to town for the event and Robby and the children are very excited. My mom made me promise to take lots of photos and my last-living grandmother sent me a card and money and told me how proud she is of me.

Yesterday, I picked up my tickets for the event and I picked up my cap and gown. Needless to say, I was the oldest person standing in line. I was also the only person not wearing spandex and flip flops.
I felt silly. I felt out of place. I could hear that inner voice inside me saying, “You’re too old for this.”

But, I reminded myself that I needed to go through with this. I needed to come full circle with this journey I started back in September of 2010.

When I decided to go back to school in 2010, I didn’t apply for graduate school. I didn’t think I could even get in, so I decided to play it safe and take some undergrad classes and get back into the flow.

I quickly realized it was a mistake and switched to the graduate program the next quarter.

I almost quit twice. When I turned in my thesis in November and found out I was finished with my degree, I went to my car and cried.

Goodbye, SCAD
But I didn’t have long to celebrate—I had to find a job.

I’m still trying to find a permanent job but somehow I have made it financially and I have been able to establish myself as a professional in Savannah.

So, why is the graduation important? I guess a lot of people would say it’s because I accomplished something really great and I did something a lot of other people don’t have the courage to do.

But that’s not my reason. I want my children to see that all this hard work had a greater purpose. I want them to understand that hard work pays off in the future.

Children can’t see behind the next five minutes. My children hated the idea of me going to school and going to work. They wanted things to stay the same and for me to stay home with them.

I had to convince them that everything would be okay and I would still be around—and I was.

They were never late for school. They never missed an activity. I still ate lunch at school with them and volunteered in their classrooms. I stayed home with them when they were sick and made sure they always had their lunch and snack for school.  I hosted slumber parties and Girl Scout meetings. I sat through endless karate classes and play dates.

I hired the best sitters for the days I couldn't be at home after school or on weekends and they loved the time away from me--safely protected in their own home.

I still did everything that they were used to but I also went to school full-time.

I did mess up one time—I forgot to pack Jude’s snack for school one day. But that was it--the big mistake during those two years. I guess that’s not too bad...

I honestly don’t know how I managed to do it all. I didn’t put much thought into it. It’s just who I am.

I realize now that I was always as strong as I am now. How else could I have done all of that stuff?

Sure, I don’t need to wear a black gown and shake a bunch of hands to know I graduated. But my children need to see me—they need to see me in a different light. They need to see that moms are more than just homemakers and caretakers and free rides to the movies.

They need to see that moms are people who have dreams. Moms are people who still want to travel and stay in a hotel and order room service. Moms are people who have sexual fantasies and enjoy playing videos games in their pajamas every once in a while.  Some moms like to watch gross horror movies and get tattoos. And some moms like to go to Las Vegas every once in a while and drink one of those sweet drinks in the tall glasses with super-long straws. And moms want to be respected and feel like they have accomplished something great in life.

I think so many of us grow-up and only see our moms as “moms.” This is my chance to show my children that I am so much more and that they can be more, too—they just have to understand that if you live your life with good intentions and a good heart, you don’t have to sacrifice your family or your happiness.

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