You know what happiness, relief and achievement look like all rolled in to one?
This is what it looks like.
That is a man whose shoulders are 50 pounds lighter as of last Friday. He went back to school 2 1/2 years ago. The same month we found out we were pregnant with Cannon. Not only has our family life changed dramatically since that day, but work and church as well. It has been a series of constant change.
The stress, the worry, the time doing assignments, the tears of frustration (on both our parts) as there just was not enough time in the day. Taking tests while on vacation. Late Skype nights with groups. Saturday mornings locking himself in the office. Weeks spent away from us all in the name of learning.
He’s a different man. More confident. More dedicated. And not to mention a diploma that claims he’s smarter. There were days (or weeks…or even months) where it didn’t seem worth it.
Watching him walk across the stage brought back a flood of emotions that we experienced over the course of the program but a new emotion surfaced – pride of achievement and pure gratitude that we made it. So grateful for all his learning…and so grateful that he’s done!
Here he is on his first day of school with his friend and partner in crime.
And on their last day.
I convinced Steve that our two oldest kids should be pulled from school to watch him walk (the younger two were with my sister-in-law which allowed me to enjoy the ceremony). He was reluctant at first but he’s glad they were there. They thought their dad was a celebrity. They oohed and ahed at his robe and silly hat. It was fun to have them celebrate with us. But more than anything, it’s the example we hope to set for them. As we were driving home that afternoon Hunter said, “Do you think I can go here after I graduate college?” That’s the hope!
Steve’s parents were there to help us celebrate and we enjoyed lunch together afterwards.
Part of the agreement of leaving the two younger ones behind was that we would get a picture with the whole family when arriving home. It will be fun to look back and remember just how crazy our life was while going through school and how many little cheerleaders he had along the way!
Although he doesn’t demand it – we are getting in the habit of referring to him as Master Steve!