Wow! Today has been fabulous!
First day back at uni. I got up early to watch the World Cup final, as we had all had a small punt on choosing the winning team at the final 16 stage, putting $5 each on a team. My youngest daughter had picked Argentina, and was the only one left with a chance. After the game, and a run I drove off to the city where my university is. It takes about an hour, a bit less without traffic. When I was about ten minutes away, my phone text alert went off, so I pulled over, just in case it was urgent. It was same daughter imploring me to check Snapchat.
She had forgotten that she had blocked me on Snapchat ;-).
So I returned her text to tell her, and got on my way. Shortly later she rang me. The kids know not to text me when driving, but I have a hands-free, so they call if it’s urgent. She said she had just opened her mail, and she had won a Language Immersion Award. She applied for this many months ago, and it has been a long process. It is for a full scholarship, including airfares, for high school language students to live and study in a country that speaks the language studied. There are only 15 awarded countrywide, to ALL language students. And my baby, who goes to a very average state school, competing against posh kids from swanky private schools and extra tutoring, won one!!! I was pretty freaking excited for her, buzzing in fact. She was thrilled to bits. We won’t know where she is going for a while, but she takes French, so that narrows it down quite a lot!
So, off I went to buy textbooks, readings manuals, etc. And to pick up my essays from last semester. I had an elderly semi-retired lecturer for one of my favourite papers last semester, and she was a bit lax on putting things online, so I had no idea what I had for the paper. I had received an A and two A+s for the three essays I had already got results for. Well, I am going to show off no end here, but I got the two final essays back, and they were both A+s – 29/30 and 19/20. That means that for every single paper I have sat this time in at uni, I have received A+s overall, five of them. I still have one to have finalised from last semester, and now I have jinxed it, LOL! Now, I am sorry for the terrible self congratulations here, but I was a lazy and very crap student when I was young. Too much partying, too bored and distracted. I cannot quite believe that I am acing this undergrad degree – the fifth (and last, I might add!) I have started! Luckily, some of those very average passes doing Law, Commerce and Management degrees were able to be cross-credited, but my Veterinary Science ones, not so relevant to my double major in Geography and Anthropology.
Now, I know some of you have PhDs, or at least some kind of post-grad qualification, and this is probably old hat to you guys – heck, I know how damn hard you have worked to get there! But for little old me, in the latter half of my 40s, this is very much needed ego-boosting. Obviously it is challenging to juggle a job, full time study, running our business accounts and parenting, as well as the travel to all (bar the business accounts) of these myriad activities. I know I am not the first mother/employee/businesswoman to do what I am doing, I guess I never fully saw myself as capable of that. Hey, it’s not that I am not capable of any of these things, it’s just that I didn’t envisage doing all at once, at least not successfully!
I got home at 6.30pm and prepared a “French banquet” – or at least one that I could manage at short notice, no shopping and late homecoming – Filet Mignon, steamed beans, honey glazed baby carrots and pommes de terre dauphinoise with creme brulee later. My family were very appreciative. I wished I had my old “time.” I would have done a duck confit maybe and some more elaborate French cuisine. I even bought champagne. But it is Monday, we are tired, and we really couldn’t be arsed. It’ll keep.
And guess what.
I will have no kids at home next year, GULP!
There is a part of me that needs this time out. I have been a hands on mum for nearly 22 years, and these past five have been done with a very broken heart. I don’t believe I have done it as well as I once did, obviously the kids are fine, thriving even. But I was fun mum, helping mum, fundraising mum, coach mum, driver mum, and I did it with great humour and zest. These last five I have felt heavy, and solid, and it has been hard work when it used to be great fun. I feel guilty for needing that time, and I am not really looking forward to it, because decisions will need to be made. When baby-girl comes home, she will still have another year at school, so it is not a true empty nest, and I am mindful of any upheaval, as well as the excitement and the fabulous opportunity. For example, on the easy side of things, she still has braces, I will need to talk to her orthodontist to see what they do in these situations, do they just retain and go again when she returns? What about her driver’s licence, she will leave just before she will be able to sit her restricted, so will be a year behind. Whatever. No matter, those are easily sorted. What about her academic progression? Will she learn enough to be able to cross-credit any schooling done overseas? Our school system has the kids earning credits throughout the year, with a final exam only a small part of the qualification/assessment. How does she pass NCEA Level Two? None of these are big problems. “They” (AFS ran the selection process, on behalf of a program run by our government) deal with these things all the time. But they will need to be ironed out. I am so very, very thrilled for her (I admit there was wetness on my cheeks as I drove along talking to her) but, of course it is tempered with a little selfishness about her leaving me. I know it’s ages away, but I will miss her!
Anyhoo, I better get off here and organised for tomorrow, I have three fifteen year old girls tonight, they are hitching a ride to the city to go shopping – catching a bus from the uni (exciting/scary for the rural kids, lol.)
Once again, I am so blessed, and I needed to share that, because my blog always seems like I never have any small good moments. Today had some HUGE good moments.