Sunday, May 19, 2013

graduation, v3

I started my master's degree four years ago.

In that time:

I got engaged,

planned a wedding,

learned how to be married,

moved to another state,

applied to finish my degree at a new university,

became a landlord,

lived at four different addresses,

worked full time,

had a husband also in grad school,

got pregnant,

had a baby,

pumped on class breaks,

learned to be a parent to a toddler,

found a new part-time job and two freelance jobs working more hours than before,

got pregnant again,

had a miscarriage,


I am officially done with attending night classes, cramming in reading and paper-writing during nap time and trying to convince myself that it's all worth it. That's at least 10-12 hours of my life back each week.

There was a semester when Shea and I met in the parking lot to switch baby duty between my class and his. The semester Henry was born I had an iron infusion in the afternoon and a class in the evening. This last semester was a blur of juggling Shea's travel and babysitters.

I will use my degree eventually I'm sure.

For me, though, the skills of juggling real adult life and attending class in person is what made me tear up as we processed across campus behind bagpipes.

But now I am done. DONE!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

a peaceful mother's day to you

I am a mother of two.

One I have the privilege of holding, and one I had to give back.

I am a mother to both of them, all the same.

For Henry, I am grateful I get to hear his laughter, watch him play with trucks, snuggle into my arms before bed and even smile as he once again shakes his head and says "No, Mommy." I get to touch his curly hair, tickle his little toes and kiss his soft cheeks.

For Avery, who I never got to hold, I pray for her soul. I imagine the reunion we will have someday. I guess the color of her hair, her eyes and the tone of her laughter.

I love them both fiercely.

Mother's Day is a great day to celebrate the things moms do whether they are changing diapers, paying for college tuition or spoiling grandchildren.

But for many women, it's a reminder of empty arms no matter if they have other children to hold or not. No matter if it's infertility, miscarriage or death, it's a bittersweet day filled with reminders of loss.

1 in 8 women suffer infertility.

1 in 4 women suffer a miscarriage or infant loss

As I celebrate my motherhood this weekend and spend time with my favorite boys, my heart is also with the women who have or are still hurting today. For my friend who is finally pregnant after 55 tries. For my friends who desperately want to be mothers and can't. For my friends who are mothers to babies they never got to hold.

May you have peace today.

"This may seems like a strange Mother's day column, on a day when joy and life abound for millions of mothers throughout the country. But it's also a day of appreciation and respect. I can think of no other mothers who deserve it more than those who had to give a child back." - Erma Bombeck