Monday, May 23, 2011

Degrees and Diapers

I don't think I've written about our experience here at the university. It certainly is an unusual experience. Whenever I would tell someone that my husband and I were graduating on the same date, both going full time at the university, and had a daughter, I was often met with shock or surprise. I guess I didn't think about it like that. I didn't leave time to think about it being difficult. Life is difficult in general. This was just our own personal journey.

We certainly sacrificed a lot to be here. Paul worked full time while I watched Anna. We dropped out twice. We lived with family for a short time. We struggled. We returned to school. We have never been on a vacation - although we did go camping as a family when Anna was two. We have a lot of unpaid bills. We put off having another child for a very long time. We bought second-hand and lived on a tight budget. When was the last time I had a haircut, anyway? Paul gets plenty of haircuts via Salon du Sarah (ME! And I'm pretty dang good at it, if I might say so). I remember when I bought each of my pairs of shoes because I haven't bought that many. We could seriously use a new dresser - the drawers are falling off the tracks. Anna needs a mattress for her bed that isn't old and freaky.

And yet... there's not a whole lot to complain about.

I have gotten to see all of Anna's firsts. First laugh, first time she rolled over (both ways), first time she sat up, first time she stood and walked, first time she said my name, first time she stepped onto the bus for preschool. No, it isn't a fancy preschool - it's Head Start. Over the last two days, we constructed and painted a paper mache volcano, filled it with Baking Soda and vinegar, and set it off. Anna laughed and squealed! Today, we're making rock candy, in hopes of passing our love of education on to her. She asks, "Can we play science?" We walk to the beach on sunny days and Anna plays in the sand. We go on walks every evening - as a family. My husband is an amazing father to our little girl - what special memories she has of building Kinex machines with daddy!

No, joy is more than money. Real joy comes from family and memories. So, I don't mind the little sacrifices here and there. The truth is, I've never been richer in my life.

On to grad school!