Today was a day like most other days. Maia woke up early, Eva needed a diaper change at 6:45 a.m., our bedroom was covered with a few hastily placed clothing items and a bunch of Maia's toys. I made the oatmeal and coffee for breakfast, nursed Eva, got Maia dressed, picked out Jeff's clothes, watched both girls so Jeff could shower, and so on. When we were already to go, Jeff put the girls in the car, and we made sure we had the items from the usual checklist: diaper bag, sling, stroller frame, extra undies, Epi-pen junior, plus Jeff's school bag, my school bag, and of course, a couple of umbrellas (it looked like rain).
And then I took my Ph.D. qualifying exam.
I know it's supposed to be a momentous sort of event, but, to be honest, it just didn't really feel like that. Aside from Maia's very cute pronunciation of "qualifying exam," both of my daughters were pretty clueless about what was going on. And when we went to Panera to "celebrate" afterwards, Maia was tired and grumpy, wouldn't sit still, didn't eat her grilled cheese, and was generally NOT the kind of person you'd want with you to celebrate becoming ABD. Eva just smiled and nursed.
I've noted before that one of the benefits of having kids is that it can really help a person to become less selfish, or, at least, self-focused. There is a way that having kids makes a person stay grounded. If I hadn't been busy getting people dressed and generally attending to the needs of everyone around me, I might have had more effort to expend on being nervous. And of course, I wasn't completely calm... but it was in my head that no matter what happened, my kids wouldn't really know or care. And maybe that just put a little perspective on how "momentous" a qualifying exam really is.
Last week I turned 30 years old. Ever since Maia was born three days before my birthday, she's kind of overshadowed by my birthday. All the effort goes into celebrating her. But, this one being a multiple of ten, it seemed like it should be a big deal. Turned out it wasn't so momentous either.
Anywawy, here I am - 30 years old and ABD. But don't ask my kids about it. They just know that I am their mom. And right now, that's really all that matters to them.