Thirty-ish years ago, she finished her course, passed the exams, walked across stage, received a pin and a lamp, and started working as an LPN. That’s Licensed Practical Nurse, for those of you who wanted to know. It meant she cared for people, made them feel better, and just all-around made a difference in a hurting world. But then she made a decision. A super valuable, irreplaceable, highly sacrificial decision. She decided to stay at home with her three munchkins. (Well, first it was just me — but even that is (obviously) a full time job. [see below])
She stocked up on bandaids (with Jacob she NEEDED them), she bought kleenex in bulk (Algebra and I didn’t get along), she pretended not to use earplugs (between the three of us, we attempted to play piano, flute, harp, trombone, and guitar), she became official chauffeur (music lessons, 4H, park days, sports). She cared for us, made us feel better, and just all-around made a difference in a our lives.
Fast forward a few years and her kiddos were moving out, moving on; not needing her less (by any means!), but needing her differently.
She [drumroll] went back to school.
First, she had to fulfill the requirements to have her LPN renewed (thirty years changes a lot in the medical world). Then, she had to qualify for the nursing program. Then, she had to work work work work work work work to learn EVERYTHING there is to know about the human body. And – finally – SHE FINISHED!
Words do not describe how proud we are of her. I’m not sure I should admit it, but I definitely cried during her Pinning Ceremony. Definitely.
And see that very bearded man standing on the end? That’s my Dad. He deserves almost as much credit as Mom does. Yup. He does. (Example: when your wife is studying for her nursing program, she’s not exactly full of extra minutes in her day, and sometimes homecooked meals just don’t happen.)
Now for the part that Mom doesn’t know (yet): her three (very proud) children were (almost) late to her pinning ceremony because we were trying to create her mother’s day gift! This becomes one of those situations where we truly, sincerely hope to hear her says: “its the thought that counts.” We rudely sneaked out of the house after lunch, we disappeared without saying a word, we hung out in hoboville, we raced home, we didn’t have time to change into more appropriate graduation attire (see Dad’s tie? Grandma’s dress? compare: our shorts), and we – yes – were almost late.
All for a good cause.
Thanks to the hard work of our dedicated parents, we’ve turned out to be three wildly good looking, exceptionally cool, incredibly talented individuals….
…who rather like each other…
..and sometimes act like dorks…
…and do crazy things…
…he bikes…she paints…I take photos…
…he designs robots….she plays the harp….I try to keep up…
…she hogs the spotlight…
…he takes it back….
…I take their portraits….
So, yes. This is us.
Thank you, Mom.