24 January 2011

Can I Still Carry a Cute Trapper Keeper? (The Adult College Student)

There are a thousand things that make it inevitable, really.

Recently, my stepdaughter heard Yale mentioned on TV.
“What’s Yale?” She asked me.
“Well, Yale is a really good college. It’s one of those colleges you want to go to if you’re going to be a doctor or lawyer.” I answered.
“Oh, so really smart people go there?” She asked.
“Yes, usually. You could go to Yale, if you wanted.” I smiled.
“No, thanks. I just want to be a Mommy.” She twirled her hair. (No, she really did.)
“Well, you know lots of Mommies that are Mommies and do other things, like college and working.” I countered.
“Yeah, that’s okay. I just want to stay at home with my kids. I don’t want to work or anything.” She confirmed.

There the conversation paused, because it was at that point I learned (unfortunately) that I was out of all stomach acid reducing medication in my home had mysteriously misplaced itself.

This conversation sparked more thought that she’ll ever know. You can’t for ONE MINUTE tell me that woman at home vs. woman at work (with the exception of Ivanka) isn’t a learned behavior. The majority of her time and adult influences are not spent or gained at our house. Without trying to sound snide, draw your own conclusions.

Next up? A few days ago:
Husband: “So, do you want me to get out of the Army, or do you want to have another baby?”
Me: “I thought you were going to get out of the Army anyway.”
Husband: “I just think it’s more responsible if we’re going to have another baby, if I stay in and retire.”
Me: “You’re the one that brought having another baby to the table, and I got onboard. Now I have to choose?”
Husband: “Well, maybe you need to start looking at getting your degree again, so I we can have the baby and I don’t have to go on any more deployments.”

Yeah, you don’t need three box tops for the decode-r ring to figure out the underlying meaning in that conversation.

So I have these transferrable credits, right? The Army didn’t give me bunches, but they did provide me with about fifteen semester hours toward various culinary degrees. Good Eats, right?

My dad: “Putting a culinary degree on your resume and not working in that field looks like you wanted to cook, and then changed your mind.”
Me: “That seems fair.”
My dad: “English and Math degrees always get my attention on a resume. You could get an English degree standing on your head.”
Me: “Probably.”
My dad: “I thought when I went to college that I couldn’t study something that came easily to me, because it would make it less valuable. That was a dumb way to think.”
Me: “Yeah.”

So it was decided.

The inevitability seems to be this:

I want to have another baby. I want to make my husband proud. I want to be a financial supporting partner in this family, rather than being the “wife that works”. I want my daughter to look at me and see me as a role model because of accomplishments other than the child bearing variety. I want my sons to look at our life, and realize that joining an armed service isn’t the be all, end all. Or, if they are going to, that they at least begin through an Academy of sorts, rather than at an entrance processing station.

And I really, really want my kids to fill in the bubble on standardized testing that says their parents graduated college.

The true inevitability?

It’s all for them. They deserve everything we can give them, and they deserve our tireless efforts to be the best parents we can be.

Even if going back to school terrifies me.


Anonymous said...

You have a gift for writing.The difference between Fred Frackenlacker and Monet is that Monet had a gift.

Jane Lively said...

You can do it. You've already mastered the toughest job in the world: Motherhood.

School and employment may be challenging, but they ain't got nothing on sleepless nights, nursing newborns, worries about sickness, choking, car wrecks, baby snatchers, corn syrup and every other imaginable (and unimaginable) horror that may befall your precious child, plus the moment to moment duty that comes with taking care of another living being.

Hell, (with a lot of spousal support) I somehow managed to have two babies, work full time and start -- and finish -- my master's degree. And if I can do it... should be easy as pie for you...

Good luck.

Linda Medrano said...

Girl, I know you can do it all. I worked full time, supported 2 kids alone, and went to college at night and graduated with honors. I was 30 before I took my first college class. I'm not saying it was easy, but it can be done. There are a lot of classes on line now too. Think about doing it! You'll never regret it.