Saturday, May 01, 2004

Thoughts On Mom's Graduation

Yesterday I attended a graduate hooding ceremony at my alma mater. My mother finally received her Master's, making her the third in our family to receive an advanced degree. (My dad and I got ours first.)

Aside from all the logistical problems of getting a seven-months-pregnant woman with a twisted foot and a four-year-old rubber ball boy up the side of a steep hill to the building where the ceremony took place, and keeping said boy occupied in stadium seating during what is normally naptime, it was a great ceremony. We had to leave early, though, because you can only separate a boy and his nap for so long, and besides we had to be there for Tiny Princess' arrival home from school.

It made me think about all that my mom sacrificed for us. She had started graduate school nearly thirty years ago, but quit because it came down to a choice between being there for us and getting her degree. In a way it shames me that I didn't make the same choice; I gave birth to Tiny Princess during what was supposed to have been my first year in grad school, and Sonshine the semester I was supposed to be defending my paper. As much as I like having my graduate degree (it enables me, for one thing, to earn more money in fewer hours away from my kids than I might otherwise have done) I sometimes wish I'd made the right choice and put my family first, instead of spending so many years being selfish.