Saturday, April 24, 2010

Nursing School: Part Three

One might think going to school along with your husband could be a disaster, a remedy for trouble. But to be completely honest it worked. That's not to say his early morning good mood did not annoy me more than once when all I wanted to do was melt into the car seat and slip away with my coffee. Or that the fact that he never had to study for anything while still acing every exam in med-surg didn't drive me crazy.

But aside from the little nuances we had through it all, it was never as difficult as I thought it might be. In fact, if I could just jump up on my soapbox here for a moment and make a little speech (which I'm sure Ryan will be thrilled about...) he was the reason I was able to make it through this year. For someone who quit college twice before because of lack of interest and failing grades, he proved he is more than capable of doing whatever he sets his mind to. And he pulled me right along with him- never letting me give up while always letting me remember if it got to be too much, I could be done.

Going to school with my husband actually turned out to be an experience I'm sure has changed us for the good forever. In many ways it brought us closer together and made the whole year a little easier. I'm not trying to get all sappy and say our life is just a bouquet of roses and a ball of sunshine now, but I think going through this made us realize how far we've come together.

On the night before the first day of school last fall we brought the kids over to my parents, tucked them into bed, told them to be good and that we loved them, and left. On the way home we stopped at the grocery store to get some things for our lunches and as we wandered the aisles I felt my eyes blurring with tears because I wasn't sure I'd made the right choice. Yes, it was only one day a week they needed a sitter and in my heart I knew they would handle it a lot better than me- spending the day at Grandma's is never too hard on a kid. But as Ryan tossed bread and oranges and lunch meat into the cart, I trailed along worried out of my mind we might be selfish doing what we were. When we went to pick up the kids the following evening after making the two hour drive to and from class and spending six hours in lecture, the kids weren't ready to go home. We just started playing with the blocks, they said, we need to stay longer. And that was the proof I knew was there all along- I was not harming my children by making them stay at Grandma's once a week.

I understood quickly that if I was not making that drive with Ryan every week, if he was not the one coaching me through the presentations that rattled me, if he wasn't with me to remind me the kids were fine and that they probably weren't even missing us- I'm not so sure it would have been so easy to make it through.

He worked full-time nights, he made me attempt to start an IV on his hand when I was afraid to try, he stopped at every gas station on the way to I******d so I could use the bathroom in the last couple months of my pregnancy. He made fun of the little things when I felt too overwhelmed, listened to me talk for hours about my first IV starts, and always convinced me I would be fine. No matter what it was, he'd always tell me: Don't worry about it. You'll be fine.

In two weeks we'll make the final drive to get our diplomas. And after that life will begin to change again as he starts a new job and summer begins. And while it was an experience I'll always be glad we went through together- I'll be happy to say we'll never go to school together again. I hope.


Cami said...

Isn't it nice to see 10 days on your counter??? That would be an experience going to school with your husband and good thing he was there to reassure you on your choices! :) I too have wondered if I was being selfish for going back to school to do something I've always wanted to do...but then Rich would remind me that in the long run it's a huge benefit to our family. :)

Karen AMH said...

Awesome that you "got" to do it together, rather than one after another (or something). Way to go Sarah and Ryan!!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Sarah and Ryan! What an awesome double achievement!