I am really enjoying my summer off.  It is so refreshing to have seemingly endless days home with my children.  We wake up together, cook and play together, and even get out of the neighborhood once or twice a week.  I have fallen into a routine of taking them to the Arboretum or the MN Zoo on opposite weeks.  Now that the weather is heating up, we’ll start making a trip to Redwood Pool in Apple Valley now and then.  As a former swim teacher, I am pretty dead set on teaching my own children how to float, kick, and combine arm and leg movement.  Once they are able to propel themselves, I’ll pay for them to have stroke refining lessons.  After all, kids always seem to listen better to strangers when learning.  I will never understand why, but I remember the phenomenon from my own childhood.  So much time off has given me a chance to reflect on my first year of Nursing education. 

I realized this morning that I have changed my point of view in ways I never considered.  I freely admit that I entered this program expecting to sail through the first year without challenge.  I was told by several people I worked with (who were not nurses), that most nurse courses were fluff worked compared to Med Tech courses.  I can assure you this is not true.  I was challenged, inspired, and educated to an extent I just really didn’t anticipate.  I also have changed the way I talk about my future.  I can see past the next two years of course work, and imagine with ease what our lives will be like after graduation.  I don’t know where I will work, or what schedule I will have, but I have confidence that I will be working with new or laboring mothers and families.  I am confident that I will love my job, that I will have talents to bring to the staff, and inspire my children to reach for what they want.  I know that I will get through this program a caring a competent nurse.  What else has changed?  I have started to consider teaching at some point in the future.  I can see myself on a university faculty some years down the road.  The future is still fuzzy, but it’s bright, and I am loving the present.  Truely, it’s a gift.