Wrapping it up

After 4 years, 2 universities in 2 states, 1 assistantship, 2 crazy jobs, at least 5 on-campus parking tickets, 1 major emotional meltdown per semester, hundreds of graded undergrad papers, thousands of pages of reading, and one beautiful baby…

I am finally getting my master’s degree!

Almost three years ago, when Todd and I joked with his parents about our then still far-off timeline for having a baby and our plans for grad school, my father-in-law Greg said, “Who knows, maybe you’ll have a baby on your hip at graduation.” At the time, we thought that was hilarious.  How right you were, Greg!  I'm a semester behind and an 8-month-old ahead of the original plan - yet another instance in a long line of life plans we have carefully crafted and then totally tossed out the window.

Just two weeks after Eli’s birth in the fall, I was back in class.  At first, Todd, Eli and I all went to campus together on Tuesday evenings in case Eli needed to eat before class ended.  We were a hilarious, bumbling mass of novice parenthood, complete with infant paraphernalia (carseat and stroller, nursing cover, swaddle blanket), school books, and travel mugs of coffee. Thankfully, Eli was such a snoozer that he was able to doze quietly while Todd read a book or caught up with friends and family via cell phone in the lobby, and while I enjoyed the cognitive stimulation of class for three hours.  

I will always look back on the insane blur of those first few weeks as an example of how love and humor can carry families through times of transition! By my third week back in class, Eli was happily taking a bottle of breastmilk at home with his dad, and I enjoyed the chance to venture out into the world with blow-dried hair (those were the days), sans baby and baby gear, with just a decaf latte and my book in tow.

With more practical and emotional support from our families than I can describe here (especially child care happily provided by Eli’s two grandmothers!), this semester I completed my master’s capstone project and defense. This was the last chapter of a longer story.

Tomorrow, Todd and Eli are going with me to campus to pick up my cap and gown.  Last year at this time, I was five months pregnant when I went to campus with Todd as he picked up his garments for his own graduation. The student handing him his master's hood, seeing my obviously pregnant belly, said to him, "Big year for you, right?"

Yes, it has been a big year for all of us.



Momma Wild said...

Anna- that's so great! I'm so proud of you! :) What a feeling it must be to finish...I'm not sure if I will or not. Maybe now that you're done with your schooling you could pay more attention to updating your blog. :)


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