Thursday, August 16, 2012

Insanely Proud

Last week at work, I hosted a short "coffee hour" for residents to get to know each other better.  And since we're going to be working together for a very long time (read:  I'm not leaving til I retire) they got to know me a little better too.  We talked a bit about where we were from originally  and about our families.  I briefly mentioned that my husband is finishing up his Master's Degree next week.  Someone asked me where he went to school and one person (the sole man living in the building, it really is kind of a henhouse) said "You must be so proud of him for attending _____.  That is a very distiguished university!"  My reply was something like this, though condensed:

"Actually, I'm insanely proud of him, period.  After HS he joined the Navy and worked as a nuclear reactor operator.  After we got married he worked nights and went to school days to get his Bachelor's Degree.  And then, with a toddler and baby at home,  he worked full-time and did night classes to get his Master's Degree."

While going through the motions of all of that, it doesn't seem like a lot.  But seeing it written down for posterity, it clearly WAS a lot!   He went to school days while I was at work, then worked nights while I slept.  It was a long four years of shiftwork, feeling like two ships passing in the night.  His first week of classes for the Master's was also Sean's first few weeks of life.  It felt overwhelming at the time, having a toddler and a new baby at home while he was going to school.  Two nights a week, out of the house.  Studying and homework on other nights and weekends, too.  Having to let things fall by the wayside, like landscaping or puttering in his workshop downstairs.  Planning things around the school schedule.  Bringing homework on vacation.  

Today was his last class.  It's done:  Master's in Information Technology earned.  He's happy to be done, and me, I'm just incredibly proud that he did it.  I know that there was lots of times when he took a look around and considered giving up.  But he didn't.  I don't know if I could have done what he has done.  

Well done, darling.  The boys and I are so very proud of you.  You did it!  


Brian Given said...

That's right, I did do it.

I traveled to foreign countries and places on the planet that few ever get to go. I drank with British sailors, hung out with Norwegian women, played with the monkeys on the Rock of Gibraltar, went to bull fights in Portugal.

I spent time in classes that I enjoyed away from crying babies and housework that needed to be done. I did homework secluded in the office while the vacuuming and laundry were being done in other parts of the house.

I worked a night shift that left me the freedom to work as I wanted doing tasks that I found fun like computer programming, electronics troubleshooting and repair. I had an empty house to sleep all day as others worked or went to daycare, no sick or teething kids keeping me up all night. I worked a schedule with four out of every eight nights off so that I could golf as desired and gut and rebuild a kitchen and have fun doing it.

I also attended more classes in geeky subjects that I find more interesting that most, while there were baby bottles to be washed and kids to be bathed.

I did do those things.

But if not having someone so strong, supportive, amazing, wonderful, loving, caring, and always there for me to do all of those things that I didn't do I never would have accomplished any of it. I am proud that I stuck it out through some trying times, ready to quit more than a few times, because quitting was always an option. I could have just stopped, pushed for an administrative discharge, stopped going to classes, found a nice Monday-Friday job, again stopped going to classes, it wouldn't have been that hard. But for as easy as it would have been to quit that amazing person had no option, she was stuck in the supporting role, maybe she could have asked me to stop, but she wouldn't do that and crush my dreams, she just kept her chin up and heaped more on her own shoulders.

Once upon a time I was too tied up in my navy responsibilities to help plan a wedding and I thanked my then future bride with a pair of diamond earrings. This is so much more than that and I can't even begin to think of how to say thank you, I hope this proves to be a good start.

I am eternally grateful to my darling wife for the support, tolerance, patience, work, and all else that you have put forward to get me to where I am. Thank You My Dearest. I hope to be able to pay you back some day.

Anonymous said...

Oh my God. You guy are adorable. Congrats to you both! You BOTH did it!!