As last year I told a story as part of Mother's Day I thought it might be a good tradition to keep up for both Mother's Day and Father's Day this year.
I've had a chance to think of one of the greatest ways my mom has been an example to me lately. A good friend from Florida just graduated and wrote a fantastic tribute to his dad. (I'd really recommend reading it here.)
It really got me to thinking about my own mom going back to school. I was a little older than my friend when my mom went back to school full time. We lived in Barstow, CA--where my siblings and I were born--and there was a community college there. To be honest, I don't remember her taking classes there, but I know she took as many there before there weren't more options and this was the main factor in moving to Henderson. Mom started taking classes at UNLV and I was about eight at the time.
I know I don't remember all the sacrifices. Mom worked, Dad had given up a business in Barstow and worked in constructions. There were times I know he worked by the light of lamps because he was paid in piece work rather than hourly. They were still always there for school projects and activities. I remember sometimes going with her to classes. Sometimes us kids would be guinea pigs in projects; memorizing state capitols or reading Anne of Green Gables and doing book projects, even though it was summer. They were usually the fun kind of projects, though, so I don't think we minded much.
In one class, I know we helped her out by teaching her Hyperlink (an OLD program) for a music education class. She put together something fun, but I think us kids deserved the A in that case.
There were all the times she substituted in our class. (It was always fun if we were doing particularly well in that class). Students loved her. I had classmates ask when she stopped subbing because she had her own class. They were disappointed. She was a good sub.
Her graduation day was a big deal. Our aunts came down from Utah for it. I don't think I realized then what participating in that did for me. While all four of her kids have taken a while getting to our own degrees, none of us have questioned whether or not it will be worth it. All four of us have made efforts to complete an education, and have had to work hard to do so. Her example has taught us how important education is and I, for one, am beyond grateful!
Happy Mother's Day Mom! And keep on rockin' the realm of edu-ma-cation!