Things got quiet around here because a lot of stuff was going on. Things like my son turning 8, and a cousin’s baby shower, and me getting my Master’s. Also, I made cupcakes.
I couldn’t sleep last Friday night for whatever reason, so I puttered about making the cupcakes for the baby’s rollerskating party the next day and scanning pictures from when he was born. I wish someone could tell me how this:
Which isn’t to say, “How does this innocent baby become a red-eyed, knife-wielding psychopath who is shameless enough to wear a Steelers jersey on the day that said team loses to the Oakland fucking Raiders?” But rather, “How does that tiny squirt become this young guy?”
On Sunday, I went to a baby shower with my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and grandmother-in-law that was very…Pittsburgh. It was in a fire hall (aka “fahr hawl” aka the event area of a VFW). The buffet featured fried chicken and rigatoni, which are staples of showers, weddings, and really any large gathering of people in Pittsburgh. And someone brought their Virgin Mary statue.
Mary just chilled in the middle of the table and I didn’t even think to ask why she was there, but apparently this particular Virgin Mary cries. So. I guess she was the entertainment.
Anyway, we went to my grandmother’s afterward and had a family birthday party for the baby. One of his favorite gifts was a “real” tie. He has several of the kid versions that zip up, but wanted the real deal.
Yesterday, I gave my final presentation and though I’m not officially certified yet (weirdly enough, certifying graduate degrees is part of my job so I’ll be certifying myself), I am done with my Master’s degree.
It was kind of anti-climactic, but my relief and joy is palpable. With the presentation successfully put to bed, I posted to Twitter and Facebook that I was done. The amount of heartfelt congratulations that I received made me cry a little, because everyone was so truly happy for me.
Calculating from the first day that I took a class until yesterday, I’ve been working toward this for 1,199 days. I honestly can’t believe that I made it. Around 10 a.m. this morning, right after I finished my informational exit interview, I suddenly felt very tired, as though I had been walking for many miles, or perhaps the abbreviated nights of sleep and weekends suddenly caught up with me.
I’m so glad that this accomplishment and celebrating another year of my son’s life comes at the end of a rather tumultuous year. After many months of mucking about, feeling broke and ineffective and unlucky, suddenly change seems possible. New year, new joys, new heartbreaks, new careers, new anything.
After we picked up the baby from school yesterday, we went home and I changed into sweatpants while the husband gave the baby his first lesson in tying a tie.
I made some macaroni and cheese and while the husband went to play basketball with some friends, the baby and I cuddled on the couch and watched the Food Network. We went to bed early, no reports to write, no research to conduct, no deadlines to meet. Just accomplishment and a moment to breathe.