Category Archives: Life

The Lego Master

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Sometimes I look back and I wonder what pivotal point led us to where you are today. Where we are today. I know that life isn’t this winding path where you make one “wrong” turn and suddenly end up somewhere and it alters your path forever. Life is this never ending twisting path with turns and impasses and bridges and somehow we get to this point where we are in our present state. But with you I really do wonder where that pivotal turn was. Or is it really all in our heads? The whole nature vs. nurture thing… was everything that happened around you in your environment really inconsequential because of nature?

I feel like I have spent my whole life focusing on you and whatever state you were in and what flux your life was in. As I sit here, I wonder if your life is the needle of the compass that tells me where I was in my own life at any given time.

I have always loved you. Always. I know I used to tell people that if there were such a thing as soul mates, you were mine. Granted, I have grown up since then and don’t believe in this concept of soul mates, but that is how deep I loved you and still love you, even if my love is disguised as something else. I have also always made excuses for you. Is that what has hindered your development and advancement in the world and society? That you have all these people who love you so much that they are willing to do anything but let you fall?

I feel like while everyone around you has changed, you haven’t. You still blame and hate the world. You still think everything is everybody else’s fault. You still think that nobody loves you. You don’t see that almost everyone around your entire world has been about you their entire lives. Even as I have married and become a mom, I have to think about you and where you fit in my present and future life.

Mental illness is one of the most difficult things I have ever dealt with. I cannot imagine being the one dealing with it from the inside. But because you are dealing with it, I am also dealing with it. When you are going through a manic phase, I am going through a manic phase. Not on the same level but definitely on some level. I feel the anger, the hurt, the out of control rage, the helplessness, the void of feelings… all of it. I can’t compare your feelings to mine as I will never understand what you feel, but you will also never understand how I feel watching you.

The last few years have been horrible. Like, nobody that isn’t living this could ever understand. It has become really easy for me to put on a fake smile and appear to live a happy life so that I don’t look like the freak show that I am. Some nights I have felt so numb that I actually found myself wishing you would just die. I thought, anything is better than this. Quit threatening it! My life would be so much easier. I would live a normal life. My son would live a normal life. I have never felt so much hate as I have the last few years and I think that feeling this much hate can literally kill you. I feel myself slowly dying.

The thing is… deep down I know I love you. I know I don’t want you to die. I know that if you did kill yourself that that would be the absolute worst thing to ever happen to me and I don’t know how I would live, especially with the words that I just said out loud. But you certainly don’t make loving you easy. When you drink you become this mean, ugly, volatile, and sad “person” and it’s not easy to have any sympathy. In fact, it’s easy to feel the total opposite. To know and watch you self-destruct and know you are knowingly doing it to yourself. But I do still have love for you. I do still think about you as I lie awake in my bed each night.

So how did we end up here? What long road or wrong turn did we take that resulted in us all living this nightmare? I want you to get better. I feel like we’ve been down this particular path so many times that I’m so broken and jaded that I have no more faith in it. I feel like this turn is more of a loop that takes us right back to the same bumpy road that we were just on. I want a new, clean, and paved road ahead. I want you in my life and in my son’s life. I don’t want to hate you anymore. I want to love you the way I’ve loved you my whole life. How do we get there? I wish I knew…

Is this for real this time?

Potty Training War

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We are by no means the poster children for potty training. It started off really good for us: within the first week he was peeing in the potty seat and telling us when he had to go and we even got him to poop in the potty twice! We thought we were potty training rock stars.

Then about a month into it everyone in our house got sick. Finn was one of the worst with diarrhea for about 2 weeks straight. This required us to put him back in pull-ups 24/7 (and even a stool sample to the doctor which was fun). We told the doctor about our reservations regarding the potty training and how this sickness and the pull-ups was setting him back and she sort of (probably wanting to shake us like we were overbearing crazy parents worried about the complete wrong thing here) assured us, “hey, he’s sick!” So, we went with it. And of course with that, our potty training was set back almost to the beginning and we went down a road of part time underwear and part time pull-ups for the next 5 months that had us pulling out our hair almost all the time and completely anxious ridden.

We’d leave him in a pull-up for naps and bedtime (and continue to) and until he would go #2 the next day because we didn’t like cleaning up the mess in his underwear and he refused to go on his potty seat. Well, because he has some serious constipation issues, sometimes that meant that he’d be in a pull-up all day or for days and as long as he had that safety net, he’d continually have accidents in his “underwear”. So we really weren’t getting anywhere. And because it was easier for us, we’d wear pull-ups anytime we left the house. So basically we had just switched from diapers to pull-ups and occasionally used underwear. Yeah what a racket those diaper companies have going!

It wasn’t until about a month ago that a friend suggested getting rid of pull-ups altogether during the day that our potty training really started getting on the right track. It was a total “duh” moment. Within 2 days he was almost back to where he was in December when we first started. Then of course we went to Disneyland (more on that later, I promise!) and that went to hell that whole week, but then once we returned we were back to underwear for GOOD.

Now we only use pull-ups for his nap and bedtime and he asks for his underwear in the morning when he wakes up. If he fills his pull-up too much in the night he doesn’t like it and will take it off and just free ball it until the morning much to our dismay. So, we’re on the right track now.

Except when it comes to doing the big deed. For that, he asks for a pull-up. Which is frustrating because he will absolutely not volunteer to sit on the potty seat. However, at the same time, as our doctor says its a good sign that he’s recognizing that he has to go and asking for a pull-up instead of just going in his underwear. The cleanup is much easier in a pull-up than it is in underwear, trust me! But this means we’re not fully potty trained and he most likely can’t go to preschool come August. The doctor says with his medical issue, it is very important that we do not force him on the potty and cause him anymore anxiety than he already has about going #2 but I don’t know if he’s ever going to volunteer to go there on his own! We do get him to go about 2-3 times a week with a lot-a lot of coaxing, so that’s something.

One thing we are getting really good at rocking is peeing in public. We used to always have to bring his special green potty seat with us and let him use it in the back of the car and then just dump it wherever we are (gross I know, but he was terrified of public toilets). Now we’ve graduated to using the portable seat that sits on the toilet. I just have to make sure I promise him I won’t flush it while he’s in the stall because he’s terrified of the loud noise. This works because he’s only peeing right now… when he graduates to other deeds, I don’t know!!! But I am so proud of both him and me for getting through this incredibly difficult and daunting part of potty training!

Everybody says it just “clicks” and one day he’s just going to be this potty trained machine… I’m just waiting and waiting and waiting for that day. Until then, you’ll still probably find me pulling my hair out here and there, but I think we are finally winning the potty training war.

Right Now: August 2015 Randomness

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I am bothered by people who become interested or fascinated with a topic and want to champion it, but don’t really research it other than sharing the latest Facebook post on their wall and spreading half-truths. They also get ALL of their information from Facebook memes or posts which is super annoying.

I am having such a hard time mourning and grieving for my grandfather who died last month because the whole process has become so perverted by my anger towards my dad’s family who took advantage of him in the months before he died and are continuing to do so. Therefore, after the funeral I chose to cut them out of my life because I cannot continue to have this anger and hate in my heart when I think about my loving grandfather.

I have had 2 lumbar spinal epidural injection procedures the last couple weeks and I’m not sure how I feel about them yet. The increased pain the 4-5 days after is pretty bad and I honestly haven’t been able to tell a major difference as far whether they are worth repeating so I’m holding off on the final procedure (you can get a total of 3) until I feel more conclusive about them.

We found a preschool for Finn to help me out with my 4-5 online classes this semester; I need some time to work on schoolwork away from him and with the Count working full time, this may be the only way to get that time. But not only did we find a preschool, we found a good preschool and one we are so excited about! Finn is going to thrive! We went to the parent orientation last night and then Finn got to meet his teachers today and I think this school fits right in with our personal philosophy. Yay!

I have been watching Gilmore Girls non-stop this summer and just finished the final season. I loved this show. The dialogue is quick, cheesy, and witty all at the same time. I love all the references to pop culture and the dynamic between the mother-daughter of the main characters – it makes me want a daughter, almost. And the guest stars on this show are out of control. Almost every episode I am seeing another recognizable face! I’m sad that it’s over (10 years late!) but I can see why it ended. The final season sucked, although the last episode still made me cry.

I have a like-hate relationship with my body. For the most part, I like it. I don’t obsess about my weight or what I eat or *gasp* workout. I know I should to a certain extent because I am getting up there in years and with all my health issues and my parents’ it really is something that I should think about more. However, truthfully I’m really alright with how I look. When I’m about 10 pounds heavier *thats* when I start to hate it. I lucked out and literally have a husband who tells me that he finds me beautiful no matter what but he especially loves my brain.

The Count has started studying for 2 different tests: the GRE and the PCATs. He’s going to take each and throw his hat in both rings (graduate and pharmacy school) and see what comes up first because we’re so desperate to get on our “feet” sooner rather than later. I love watching him study every night. Again. This has me all inspired and itching to get started on my own semester that’s almost a month away still!

Finn just started weekly swimming lessons and we’re so excited for him. He went to his first lesson and cried the whole time but he still listened, didn’t run away, high-fived the instructor, and when we left he told us he wanted to go back next week! So, we thought it was an overall success.

Yay for August and the almost near end of summer. :)

A New Semester in Life

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I have never been so excited or more nervous for a new semester in my life. I think the last I wrote on the blog about my studies I was going to major in education and be a teacher. That has since changed. I worked at a school last year and dealt with a lot of different issues in that time. Not just personality conflicts (teachers can be catty, holy cowbells!) but also came to this stark realization that there is so much wrong with K-12 education and I’m not sure if I really want to fight that battle. I think I’ll leave that up to those better suited.

Unfortunately, due to the demands of everything put on the districts, schools, and teachers, in my experience I think that 90% of “teaching” is discipline and classroom management and only about 10% actual teaching. I think out of our 6 1/2 hour day we had maybe a 2 hour block dedicated solely to teaching the core subjects (not just busy work) with no “interruptions” like recess or specials but within that block there are so many interruptions like finding books, redirecting behaviors, finding page numbers, bathroom breaks, etc. I think it comes down to the minutes, really. It was really eye opening.

Then you have the teachers. They’re such a mixed bag. I had a pretty good teacher that I worked with where our philosophies were for the most part closely aligned and as far as intelligence she was definitely further up on that scale than some of the others. We had a lot of deep and meaningful discussions about the state of education. She was also a first year teacher with so much to learn as far as experience and trusting her instincts. Some teachers, however, I don’t know why they went into teaching. It’s like my aunt says, some people have a calling, some people use it as a step up to something else like administration or post-secondary teaching, and others don’t know what they want to do so they just go with what they think will be easiest. They are SO wrong and that is SO wrong to do to the children. They hate their jobs and it shows. Sadly, this is what I saw most often where I worked. That or burn-out which is another very common theme among teachers. The pressures put on teachers is so great that I can see why most teachers don’t make it past 3 years. Frankly, as we ALL know, they aren’t paid enough. I get it. You get jaded. For more than the amount you make as a teacher you can work in retail and have exponentially less pressure. Sure, a hell of a less meaningful job but a hell of a lot less stress and one you don’t take home with you that definitely doesn’t let you work over 40 hours! It never ends for teachers.

I could go on about this as I’m sure a million other people could, so I know I am not being revelatory by any means. Since I was working in an elementary school, a part of me hoped that this would be somewhat different if I got into my intended secondary school. However, after speaking at length with a professor whom I really liked last semester he burst my bubble and let me know that high schools are just the same: faculty is just as catty, intelligence about the same, the will to be there is the same, and behavior issues are increased tenfold. He told me that frankly he didn’t think I’d be happy teaching high school and he’d rather see me go for my Masters. He even gave me a thesis topic! So, that’s what I’m currently exploring. I changed my major from Secondary Education – English to just English and I’m looking into the concurrent Master degree programs that are offered at my university so I can try to knock out some graduate courses while completing my Bachelors.

This is what has me so excited and nervous both at the same time. I’m excited to be attending the university and taking some really cool upper division courses (I’m all done with lower) in subjects that really interest me (hello Darwin?!), but it’s also incredibly scary to jump from all 200 level courses to 400 level courses. I have always had really good relationships with my professors at the community college and been well liked and done very well and this is a whole new ball game for me. I am going to be 1 of 400 now and basically a nobody. Another huge and mostly unwanted change is that all 5 of the classes I am taking are online. I am making this sacrifice for my family because we really can’t afford more daycare for Finn than we already have to and I need to have a mostly open and flexible schedule for work as I have been applying for part-time jobs for the school year. With the Count working full-time and being our “primary breadwinner” now, my schedule isn’t prioritized. So I am sacrificing my beloved lectures and face-to-face with professors for my family. We’ll see how this works out for my schooling as I have never been a fan of online classes.

Volcano Boy

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Finn is truly a special boy and certainly very unique. It is true what they say that you can try and try to “make” your children what you think you want, but ultimately they will be their own person. This is a very candid and personal photo of our favorite little guy. This is him. The real deal. He loves grandma’s tank tops and shirts and tonight he found a bunch of jewelry and 2 large weeds that Dada had pulled out of the front yard that he had one in each hand (not pictured) and was waving them around, while covered in stickers, saying he was a “Volcano Boy”. I don’t know where he gets this stuff. I don’t know why he prefers our shirts to his. But I seriously just adore him just like he is. His individuality suits him just fine. He’s perfect!

Farewell Gramps

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My grandpa is dying. Yes, he’s been “dying” for a long time. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer 2 years ago and it has slowly been spreading into all of his other organs including his bladder, kidneys, and bones. He’s had a few falls and had to have surgery on his brain at least twice. Through all this he has been on almost NO medication his entire life. He has been a huge proponent of vitamins and took at least 30 of them daily for the last 30 years. Up until the last 3 years he was still going on regular cruises (with his girlfriend!), snorkeling in Cancun (for my wedding!), traveling the country to see all the National Parks, and up until about a year and a half ago — still driving! Oh, did I mention he is 98 1/2 years old? He has lived through two world wars (he was born at the tail end of WWI) and fought courageously during WWII. He served a total of 34 years of combined service as he retired from the FAA in 1973. He is an amazing man.

He has been one of the luckiest to have made it to almost 100 and not lost even a shred of who he was. He is sharp as a tack. No, sharper. He has never forgotten a name or a face, be that a person he shared his time with on his ship, the USS Portland or a long gone horse that belonged to a relative some 40 years ago. He is still there even as he battles for every breath and every beat of his heart and lies there with over 30 members of his broken but still loving and supportive family surrounding him. I sit here and I wonder if that is a blessing or a curse? Would it have been nicer to have been able to check out a while ago while waiting for your ridiculously stubborn body to finally give in to cancer? Or is having your mind 100% (maybe 98%) the way to go in the end?

Up until 2 days ago when he had a stroke and a seizure, we had to lie about giving him morphine for his pain because even at this stage of his death, he’s conscious enough that he didn’t like the idea of morphine. Until recently he thought that the 2 ibuprofen that he took every other day lasted and was all he ever needed for pain. That’s the power of the mind right there!

Despite all this and how he truly is one of the greatest persons on the earth that I’ve ever met (not without faults of course because who isn’t?), I can say that I am ready for his death. I do not like to sound selfish for for the last several years, every single holiday has been deemed his last “fill in the blank” and it has this weird cloud hanging over it. And then of course it wasn’t. I can’t imagine how that has felt for him and I’m sure that even though his body has been tough and as strong as it possibly could, it must get old to see just another holiday, another birthday, and be the last of your friends, the last of your shipmates, the last of your siblings…. the very last of everybody in your generation to survive. To have outlived your wife by almost 20 years and now your girlfriend of almost the same to be almost completely demented, might as well have outlived her, too.

Living to 100 must be an amazing “accomplishment” (is that a thing when talking about life’s longevity?) but it must also be very depressing. I’m ready for him to go. I will be sad, yes. You know I’m an atheist, so I don’t have any delusions that I’m going to be reunited with him, which is why I am glad I have been lucky enough to have had an amazing 31 years with him here on earth. I wish him peace now. And I hope that our broken family is able to get through this as peacefully and amicably as possible, although my hopes are very very small as there is a world of shit happening behind the scenes that is only going to blow up as soon as he actually does go.

Farewell, Gramps.

Writing to Perfection

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I have had an interesting summer so far. Lots of “free” time – meaning, lots of time to play with Finn. Not a lot of time to do the things that I had hoped I would be able to do like help my mom clean and organize her house or purge everything from me and the Count’s room. Finn isn’t the type of kid who will play by himself for an hour and let you get things done. He’s constantly in your space and wants to play with you non-stop. So, we do. Mostly. Or we go places. Which has been great. I feel like I have given him a truly great summer. Sure, there are days where I feel like a really shitty mom because we literally watch TV all day, but then I try to balance it out by taking him to a museum the next day. Life is a game of give and take. Something like that. I am definitely getting better and better at this “Mom” gig – always wondering how I can do better and how I can give him more.

I’ve also wanted to sit down and write and update my blog so many times. I thought that this would be the summer that I really blogged consistently and meaningful. Found my voice. Found my rhythm. Finally found what it is I wanted to say and share with the world. However, all too many times I’ve stared at a blank page because I feel like I have just too much to say or I have nothing to say at all and a total of zero people who actually care about it, other than myself for posterity’s sake. So, instead I let my brain go to mush on Netflix night after night. I’ve caught up on almost all of my shows and am back to trying to finish Gilmore Girls. This was also going to be the summer that I read “all the classics”. Haha. Wishful thinking. My Brit Lit professor last semester (who, by the way, convinced me to change my major from Secondary Ed to just straight English) gave me a list of all the greats I had to read. Needless to say, I failed miserably and I don’t see that changing before the summer is over.

However, here I am. One thing I learned from one of my writing classes last semester is that the important this is just to write. Don’t think about the content, the technical aspects, the audience, or anything else — just write. So, I am. When I can. Sometimes that is literally in the “Notes” app of my phone while watching a children’s program with Finn while annoyingly tapping with one finger at a time. Other times it’s while “watching” something on Netflix, aka it’s minimized on my screen while I write which the Count finds really really weird. But mostly it’s just in my head or out loud in the car – Finn really likes that! One thing’s for sure… you definitely haven’t heard the last of my rambling brain no matter how long in between posts it is. :)

Parenting in Public

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I’ve come to the realization that I am never going to be this perfectly calm, collected, and put together mom. Or wife, or daughter, or *person* for that matter. That just isn’t me. I have this tendency to wear my emotions on my sleeve. I’ll share them with anybody whether they want me to or not, admittedly. Yes, I’m a bit of an over-sharer. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram- you already know this. I think about this a lot and sometimes I’ll try to change that and post less, but what it always comes back to for me is that I just like to share. If I get rid of Facebook for a month, I miss that aspect of my life for some reason. So, I’ve just come to accept it and instead decided that to those who don’t like it… don’t belong in my inner circle. I’ve carefully curated my “friends” list to under 100, because really… I don’t have 100 friends and once it starts creeping up there I have to go through and be really selective about who I want to share my life with once again.

But where was I going with this? Oh yes. Disneyland. Oh I didn’t already explain that? Okay, well let me get there. We went on a fantastic family trip to Disneyland a couple weeks ago and as an added bonus we got to also go with some of our best friends and their families! It was great. However, I was a hot mess at times. I would be *that* mom with the kid who wasn’t listening and because I had to be left with my kid while The Count went on a ride with his buddies (and totally vice versa of course), sometimes I’d freak out a little. I think I’ve mentioned a few times here that because of my different health issues I haven’t been the most “traditional” mom (what’s that anyways?) from the get-go with taking Finn in public places and bearing that responsibility on my own, so it is still, believe it or not, a challenge 3 years later. Anyways, only a few times Finn had a meltdown and of course it was when I was alone and I felt like I looked like the one mom of our group with the one out of control child and my embarrassment and anger would creep up and then my resentment towards The Count for being gone would take hold and I’d start to lose it in my mind and then take it out on Finn and *especially* The Count (bless his heart).

Where I’m going with this is that I never realized that I’d be judged for it. I felt like a shitty mom, trust me, I did. But I always had hoped that other people were more understanding. There was only one glimpse of this but it was enough to rattle my cage. At one point one of our friends (who I love more than anything and is in my top 5 of people who I love most on this earth, for reals) was going to go on one of the big rides with the guys and leave the three young kiddos with me and our other friend and I remember there being talk about leaving the two of us with three kids and it possibly being too much when one said to the other, “Oh I know *you’ll* be fine…” Needless to say, she didn’t end up going. It made me feel kind of sad. I wondered if she thought I just couldn’t handle anything more than my own, couldn’t be trusted, or am I just too paranoid and she was just trying to be considerate of the tantrum that my own son had just had and didn’t want to leave us stranded with three in case that happened again? Am I just overthinking this? Of course the Count says I am.

But I still wonder because I know I complain a lot about Finn’s little tantrums or if I have a hard day with him and maybe I’ve just given off this impression that I am this crazy mother that can’t handle my own kid, let alone any others and is ready to fly off the handle at any given moment? Have I been too trusting with my own feelings? Have I been too open with what goes on in my life? Maybe it’s not best to be an open book, even though I always thought it was. No secrets. Nothing to hide. This is me. This is who I am. And this is what you get. Then I start to think… I’m probably not the first person people turn to to watch their kid. Well how can they? I don’t even have my own place. For now. Then my thoughts turn to self pity and we go down a darker road that I’ll save for another post on another day when I’m feeling like dredging myself completely through the mud.

Bottom line, I’m a good mom. I’m a great mom. I know I am. I’m still learning how to handle temper tantrums in the privacy of my own home, let alone in public. My child is special and unique and not like any other. They all are. There’s no book that I can read that will tell me how to handle him in tough situations. Or he, me! I guess I really shouldn’t care what other people think about me or my parenting or my or my son’s temper tantrums because we’re both still learning and that’s not going to change for a very long time. Or ever.

This party just keeps on going…

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I’m sorry… I’m still beaming. It just won’t stop! Dan’s graduation is over but the impact it left upon us is infinite. One thing that the speaker said that really resonated with both of us was how much this accomplishment is a foundation – a seed for the future. He talked about how important first generation graduates are for future generations and while Dan isn’t a first generation graduate (his dad had his Bachelors degree), he is definitely a testimony of that seed. His dad got his degree later in life and that was one of his only wishes for his sons before he died: that they finish their college education. When he died over 10 years ago, that felt so out of reach with all of the hurdles that needed to be overcome first, but both of Brian’s sons did get their degrees. And when the speaker talked about the likelihood of future generations going on to college because of this degree, it was like he was talking about our family— I was seeing this in action. And now hopefully this will mean a better life for Finn and on and on and on. Anyways, that’s all for tonight, but I’m sure not ever. :)

He Did It!

Dan is about to graduate. Tomorrow. This is the biggest thing in our lives right now. I am so proud of him. I can’t even find words that are worthy enough to escape my brain let alone put them into a blog post, but let me try.

There are so many directions my life took that at the time I thought were the wrong way. I am just now realizing that this path, right now, that we are on, is a good path. It is a long and windy path. It had a few “do not cross” tapes across the way, some scattered stones, some puddles, but man… it just got repaved and it feels good.

Dan’s path to where he is now has been a really long one. I’m not even talking about his health struggles. That feels like a whole different life. Like we were living in a different universe, even. As I sit here and write this, it feels so silly to even say, but I have tears. It’s like, I’ve read other people saying that and truth be told, it sounded dumb to me, so really, it’s okay if me saying it sounds dumb to you. But I’m overcome with emotion trying to even grasp how I am feeling and what I am trying to say and where I am going with it. We have been through so much since Dan began his journey back in 2007. Or was it 2008?

Sometimes he had semesters where he took nothing but art classes because he needed to step back and take a break. If you ask him he still gets mad at himself and will kick himself over those times. But not me. I think about all that time and while I am not at all suggesting anything towards this idea of “fate”, I am led back to thinking about our path. Dan may have had interest in the sciences back then (or even in high school) but he never had this passion or the confidence to want to explore it more in-depth until these latter years.

Ultimately, it was his original plan of nursing school that did lead him to where he is as it required several lower level science courses and with those courses he happened to have a few teachers that were pretty passionate about their subjects and that’s really all it took. There was no turning back. I can’t remember any specific moment where he turned to me and said “this is what I want to do” (I mean, we don’t live in the movies!), but I do remember a series of events where he’d come home excited to share with me what his professor had talked about in this lab or that lecture. He started to get really involved with his lab partners. He got very serious about attendance. He started taking more science courses. When it turned out he took an extra biology class that he didn’t need, he wasn’t even mad. It just started to all click for him.

Dan probably wouldn’t want me sharing this, but he does talk down and get mad at himself for not going to college right after high school. He’s extremely hard on himself and always has been. But then I ask him, “what would you have done if you had gone to college right after high school?” and he doesn’t know. And that’s just the thing. Some people know. They know their whole lives what they want to do and so right out the gates the are ready to go. Others don’t. Maybe those people spend some time in college trying to find it like Dan did. Maybe they get degrees in something they really don’t care about. Maybe they drop out. Who is to say that had Dan gone to college right out of high school he would have had the same discovery that he had 10 years later? Would his interests have been the same? Would his influences have been the same?

I think science found him. I really do. And I am so glad. I like to tease him behind his back about how much of a nerd he is because he watches YouTube videos of guys doing mathematical equations and chemical compounds and scientific discussions with scientific greats like Noam Chomsky and Lawrence Krauss, but truth be told, I’m pretty proud of that. I think it’s pretty cool. He enjoys talking about “smart stuff” and that to me is “cool.” I feel pretty cool standing next to him. And smart. I feel smarter just being in the same room as him. It is actually pretty high up on the attractive scale, too. *hubba hubba*

What’s next for him? We don’t know. When he first set out it was just thinking about a career. What is going to get him (and us) to the top and give us the best life? He now has a pre-med degree and could theoretically even become a doctor if he wanted. However, as his love for science continued to grow, his interest in doing something in the medical field got smaller and smaller. At least in any patient-care sense. He works in a pharmacy now and seeing a pharmacist’s life, he absolutely does not want to go that route.

This last semester he had to make a decision… science or medicine? He had many meetings with his professors and back and forth emails. Finally, his favorite professor boldly encouraged him to go for his doctorate in Biochemistry even if it is going to be a long, hard road. And he’s more at peace with that decision than he’s been with any decision he teetered back and forth with over the last 3 years.

So, as soon as finals are over and he walks that big stage as we all all beam back at him with pride, it is back to the books as he studies for the GRE for graduate school! But not before a little surprise graduation vacation planned by yours truly (which he has NO idea about). :))