On Being a “Night Student Daddy”
Now that school has ended for the semester, it’s officially time for me to discuss (which means “complain about”) how hard it was. Those of you who are night students may be able to appreciate some of things that I “have”:
I have a boss who expects me to do my job; several bosses, actually. They support me going to school and all, but they also expect me to actually work for my salary. They’re demanding like that.
I also have professors who expect me to be prepared for class. More often than I’d like to admit, I “research” important cases on Wikipedia and sketchy legal blogs. And yep, I could soon become your lawyer…
I have a body that’s beginning to fight back from all the 7/11 Big Bites (with nacho cheese and chili, or course), coffees, Mountain Dews, Red Bulls, Quiznos, and bags of peanut butter m&ms. You know it’s bad when fruit snacks are literally your biggest source of fruit.
I have a backpack filled with ridiculously heavy books that I bring with me pretty much everywhere I go. Nothing says “professional” like a suit, tie, and a high school backpack.
Oh, and then I have my beautiful wife. We see each other in person on the weekends, and on Facebook during the week. On my first day of class last January, Jackie said “bye babe, I’ll see you in the summer.”
(It’s funny cuz it’s true).
Friends? Facebook claims I have a lot of them. But the call history on my cell phone would beg to differ.
(It’s sad cuz it’s true).
Also, being a night student comes with some unique dilemmas:
Should I finally take Jackie out on a date or should I finally start writing this paper? Should I save $50 and buy the old version of the textbook or buy the new one the professor says I “need” to have? Should I take a day of leave from work so I can study, or should I save it and go in?
These are things night students just have to deal with – a balancing act between work, school, marriage, and on occasion, friends. I sometimes jokingly refer to it as “the night life.” Amazingly, I’ve been living this night life since the Bush Administration.
But now I also “have” something else: two babies (that are super cute). Which makes me a “night student daddy.” Or is it “daddy night student”?
(Thinks about it…)
Definitely “night student daddy.”
Anyway. This past semester was the first full semester with the babies, and it was a grind. Nobody in our house slept much, and everybody in our house did some screaming.
But now that it’s over, I can look back and truly admire what my wife has done for me and my family, and it’s really awesome.
WARNING: it’s about to get real sappy up in here…
Here’s a quick-hitting list of things Jackie does: she works (32 hours per week), she watches the kids, she wakes up with the kids, she does my laundry, she gets them to bed all by herself, she does the shopping, she runs all the errands, she pays all the bills, she cleans the house, she packs my lunch and dinner (and few snacks for in between…), she sends me adorable pictures of the babies during the day, she thinks it’s important that I play racquetball on Sundays, and she makes me “soup and sandwich” when I start to get sick. Yea, she’s good.
Me? I take out the trash. Unless I forget.
One of these days, I may actually get to reward her with some of the “finer things.” But until then, we will continue to use our old washing machine that, with the help of duct tape, usually works. And we will continue to have a plywood board serve as a makeshift countertop in our kitchen. And we will continue to pay for new semesters of tuition while holding off on the new refrigerator I know Jackie is lusting after. And we will continue to go to restaurants that serve endless free chips. Confession: I have signed my fair of $6 dinner tabs.
Look, I’m not saying we’re poor; we’re not. But we have had to make some sacrifices over the past four years to pay for school, and I’m glad I have a wife who is capable of thinking long-term.
God hooked me up with a wife who is ridiculous, but also ridiculously awesome (for instance, she often answers the phone with “what up player?”). I would have it no other way. And when I finally finish school next semester, that degree will be every bit as much hers as it will be mine.
Being a night student is tough and being a “night student daddy” is even tougher. But my wife is a “night student mommy,” and that’s by far the toughest gig of all.
Told you it was about to get sappy in here.