I don’t remember much about my college graduation. The 4 months between taking my last final and wearing my cap and gown were a blur. Graduation seemed slightly anti-climatic after everything that had happened since I finished my last class.
I can picture myself taking the long walk from my seat up to and across the platform to receive my diploma. A college graduate! Amazing.
I remember spending time with my family before and after the ceremony. I remember that my in-laws made the long trip to celebrate the day with us. I remember the dress I wore, the beautiful April weather, and the flowers in front of my grandparents’ house.
I remember how proud and excited I was four and a half years earlier when I received my acceptance letter to BYU. I loved my college years and I was always determined to graduate. Getting a degree was an important concept drilled into my head by my mother. In my mind, not graduating was not an option. But when my graduation finally came, my diploma was not the most important thing that I held.
I graduated in April 1997. All of the other excitement that day was trumped by one person who sat in the audience, cheering me on as I walked across the stage to receive my diploma.
She was 4 months old, born just 7 days after I had finished my last requirement for graduation. When I found out I was pregnant just 11 months after CandyMan and I got married, I was rather shocked. When I looked at the calendar and realized that I would be student teaching during my last trimester and taking tests up until her due date, I panicked. I had worked so hard for my degree. I had attended 4 1/2 years of classes (not an easy task) and done well despite myself. Adding a pregnancy into the equation felt like a last challenge to trip me up. But I did it.
When she came, everything else that had seemed so important was overshadowed by the overwhelming experience of being a first time mom. Suddenly, studying into the wee hours of the night and falling asleep during class seemed like easy times. Motherhood was so much harder than being a student ever was. I realized that I had never been truly tired before. And the excitement I felt when I got an A on a big test – or even when I was handed my diploma – was nothing compared to the joy of seeing my little girl smile.
I’m grateful that I had the chance to go to a good school and get a degree. I’ve put it to good use over the last 14 years. But Motherhood has definitely been the best class I’ve ever taken, and I didn’t need that one to get my diploma. My classes might have ended in December 1996, but the real learning began when I had that little baby girl.
I’m glad she was in the crowd that graduation day, cheering her mama on.
This post was sponsored by Tiny Prints, but the story….that’s all my own.
© 2011 – 2013, Food Fun Family. All rights reserved.