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My first official class back to school was actually last fall.  I took a three credit course one morning a week.  It was a prerequisite I needed to put in my application to the nursing program, but also a test of the waters for me.  I don’t consider myself a person who looks before leaping, and actually getting on campus, taking the bus downtown every week, and sitting through an entire course helped to reassure me that I was making the right decision.  That one three credit course a year ago is feeling a million miles away as I contemplate my upcoming 19 credit work load.  Am I insane?  Did I leave my brain elsewhere when I made this commitment?  I was starting to feel a little light-headed and caught myself hyperventilating today when I looked at what is all going on next week.  I am training for a new job, working my current job, attending my orientation, and taking two final exams.  Ok, I need a minute, my heart rate is rising again.  I still need to find a way to pay for the books I need this semester and apply for additional loans to cover childcare.

I keep telling myself I will get used to this new normal.  I will adjust to being busy all the time and missing out on fun events in my kids lives.  I know that isn’t entirely true, but I will forge ahead.  I know that at the end of the day, I am ready, and I have my secret weapon in my back pocket.  It’s my husband.  I am so luck to have a supporter like him in my corner.  He doesn’t fight my battles for me, but he always stands beside me.  He supports me in this decision, and we are close enough that we can disagree with each other respectfully and find common ground to move forward.  I never have to worry that he is just going along with my plans quietly, because if he though we couldn’t handle it he would say so.  He can talk me down from a cliff like no one else, and the whole world is right again when he just holds me.  Where would I be without him?  I would maybe have never gotten my first degree, and I definitely wouldn’t be working on my second.

I took some time today to hug my kids close and smell the top of their heads.  It’s an odd sort of ritual I have done since the day they were born.  I hold them, close my eyes and take in their scent.  It makes them real and mine, and reminds me to slow down and remember them at this moment just as they are.  I am so worried that I am going to be missing this huge piece of their childhood that I can’t get back.  I only just realized last week that Iwont be home on my daughter’s first day of school to put her on the bus and I started to cry.  I am hoping to still find time to tuck them in when I am not working an evening at the hospital, still see their sleepy and happy faces when they first wake up in the morning.  It’s just so many of the little things that I have to set aside on a daily basis to tackle this mountain I have chosen to climb.

So, tomorrow I face another day of trying to get in more living with my children before I am gone for most of the time, and figure out how in the world I am going to survive next week.  Then I can look forward to the week after, my first day of school.