Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Mommy Is in Graduate School: A Love Letter

Dear Baby,

Mommy is in graduate school. You don’t know what that means, so let me explain. Graduate school is for people who have already gone to kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, high school, and college and (for some reason) still want to be in school more. You might be surprised that there’s anything left to learn after all that, but there is—why do you think all those heavy books and super-fun packets of paper are lying around your playroom?

Graduate school means that Mommy has to leave you for a few hours a week to sit in a room that’s much less fun than ours and talk about things like “methodologies” and “theoretical frameworks”. They’re way less fun than they sound. Mommy would rather discuss red blocks and blue blocks with you. Graduate school means that, when you wake up in the morning, refreshed after your eleven hours of sleep, Mommy’s sometimes running on half that many hours. That’s why you sometimes see Mommy wipe her eyes and blow her nose on the bib you wore at breakfast.

There are many times when Mommy would like to take a nap like you do, but mommies need to use the time when babies are sleeping to get things done (you distract us when you’re awake because you’re so cute and marvelous and brilliant every moment). There are times when Mommy would like to sit on the floor and play music with you all day, but she plays with you for a little while and then goes back to her computer while you play on your own.

Graduate school means that sometimes you hear Mommy say words you shouldn’t say. Not just words you won’t be allowed to say in school in a few years, but also words like “I can’t,” “What’s the point,” and “I give up.” Mommy doesn’t want to teach you those words. But sometimes mommies feel that way.

There’s one other thing about graduate school that you should know. Assuming that Mommy doesn’t let the “I can’t” moments get the best of her, in a little over a year you will get to see Mommy finish graduate school.  She will wear a black robe and a fancy hat, and there will be a big ceremony with music and applause. You will see Mommy receive a paper that says she’s completed graduate school. Mommy will be very happy.

When Mommy was quite a bit younger (long before you were born), she thought that she would finish graduate school before becoming a mommy. But then the best thing happened: the plan changed. You were much too important to wait that long. You were born, and now Mommy gets to have a sidekick in graduate school. And when Mommy finishes graduate school, you will clap with all the other people, and Mommy will get to celebrate that special day with you.

I hope this all makes a little more sense now. I'm going to give you a kiss, post this blog entry, and get back to writing the assignment I sat down to work on in the first place. Because for now, I'm still in graduate school.