Sunday, May 8, 2011
A Master's Degree and Mother's Day
So, today was the day. My first Mother's Day. Always wondered what this day would feel like and though it was pretty uneventful, it has been an awesome day. Last year at this time I was exactly 30 days away from giving birth to the little miracle that would make me a mommy and allow me to experience Mother's Day from a mother's perspective this year. Altogether the weekend has been spectacular as yesterday I got to take my daughter to TN Tech for her to watch mommy walk across the stage and earn her Masters Degree. I just kept thinking the whole time we were taking pictures afterwards...I can't wait to show Madison these pictures one day of me holding her in my cap and gown and explain to her what that day meant. My story (many years in the future) will go something like this...
Madison...Mommy and Daddy feel very strongly that education is important to the success of an individual. For that reason and because God gave us the desire to learn, we both went to college to get our undergraduate degrees. And while Mommy always wanted to get her Master's, things just never worked out for me to go back to school. We had moved twice, gotten new jobs, bought a house, and had many many back surgeries in between. But Mommy never quit wanting to go back to school. Daddy, on the other hand was able to earn two more degrees because God provided opportunities for him to go back to school for free at two universities. Well, all in the Lord's timing circumstances made it so that Mommy could start her Masters program at TTU. In August of 2009 I enrolled and began my first set of classes. And I LOVED it! Loved the reading and writing, studying, everything. I was just so glad to be able to be a student again. And then everything changed. Two months after starting graduate school I found out we were expecting you. And while this would have been no biggie for most, as you know, my pregnancy with you was anything but normal. The stress of grad school paired with the anxiety over my precious girl's condition, mixed with the responsibilities of full-time teaching was just too much for me to handle. My doctor made me withdraw from grad school immediately to focus on your health and mine. Funny how something you can be so excited about one minute can be the very thing you dread the next. Grad school became nothing but a big dark cloud hanging over my head that imposed deadline after deadline and no longer did I have that sense of excitement about completing my degree. But graciousness after graciousness was extended to me by each of my 4 professors at that time, who all agreed to let me finish my 4 classes in the fall semester after you were born. Well, that was great except that Mommy had to go back to work in the fall while trying to juggle those 4 classes plus 3 new ones I had to take. Fall of 2010 was THE worst semester of my life. My stress was at a whole new level and I resented ever going back to school because all the work, and all the assignments I had to complete were keeping me away from the only person I wanted to spend time with...YOU! By the grace of God, though, the semester ended and I moved on to the next one where I had just one more class to finish. Just days before graduation I received word that my amazing professor who had helped me and encouraged me through all of the trials of grad shcool, had finished editing my final paper and it was DONE! I was going to graduate. So, the day before Mother's Day in 2011 I dressed you up in your finest purple attire and took you to TTU to watch me get my Master's Degree. My cap and gown in the picture is the outward symbol that I succeeded...I perserved...I didn't quit...I earned something that I valued greatly- more education. When I started the Fall of 2009 I was simply a wife and teacher. In May of 2011 I walked across the stage still a wife and teacher but added the title of graduate and most importantly "mother" to my accomplishments. Amazing what the Lord can do in such a short amount of time. The End.
Although I am proud of myself for making it through an incredibly difficult year and a half of grad school, my degree pales in comparison to the joy and pride I feel in my role as Madison's mommy. Her "come get me" arms that stretch out to welcome me each time I come close to her and her beautiful eyes that speak to me and say, "I love you to pieces, Mommy" have made Mother's Day and every day ones I'll always treasure. That magical cuddle spot that only I can give her when I tuck her in my arms and close to my heart confirms every time that I am the mommy God chose for Madison and she is the precious gift God created just for me.
Thank goodness Madison's love for me will not end tomorrow when this Mother's Day is over. Thank God He knew exactly when and how He would allow me to enter into motherhood and equip me with the love and strength and abilities to parent Madison. Thank God He entrusted her to me. He knew that my "won't quit" attitude that got me through graduate school would be the very kind of perserverance Madison would need to overcome her challenges as she grows older.
For all you moms who have read this, hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day. Thank you for all the kind Mother's Day wishes I received from many of you who realize just how special my Madison is and that she made today a most wonderful one for me.
Blessings to you all,