And here's where I get really honest. It has taken me so long to blog about it, because unless you know me, know our family, and can see the big picture, what I am about to type may come across as completely out of the box. Out of the norm (when have I EVER fit the norm?). It may make some of you uncomfortable, wondering if it's the best decision.
But this decision has been thought about, debated, pros and cons listed, and prayed over for almost an entire year. It all started with an innocent suggestion from Jon.
Why don't you think about going back to school?
He knows me so well. The moment he said it, my mind raced back to a dream that I let die about seven years ago, around the time we moved to our current town. I gave up on that dream, really. And then Jack came. And my days as both mom and nurse overtook any personal goals. And rightly so.
When Jon suggested it, I brushed him off. How would that even work? But things are different now. Jack is very stable. He is thriving, actually. Why not now? Will there ever be an "easier time to try?" There is no school in our state with the program I need. But the more we talked, the more I knew. I had to at least try. There is nothing lost in trying.
So I applied.
And I waited.
Then that fateful day came when I got the letter in the mail.
And the second I read the first sentence (thinking NO WAY!), I knew the trajectory of my life was about to make a very big change.
Late this summer, I will begin a 3-4 year doctoral program in American Government at the University of Utah. I chose UofU because of it's known excellence in the all things history of the American West (I will be focusing on politics in the west, specifically, our great state of Montana). I also chose this program because of it's proximity to home. I will be a full-blown commuter the first year and a half and will finish my PhD here back in Montana. Jon and Jack will stay in Montana because, well, 1) Jack and his routine is most important and 2) someone has to make some money to provide for our boy.
Now let's talk about Jackpants. The hardest part of all of this is leaving my boy, for any length of time. It will be a lot of back and forth on my part. During the school week I will be in Utah, and on weekends and breaks I will be home. You know me. I won't be able to stay away for too many days at a time. I have been at home with Jack since that wonderful and amazing day he was discharged from the hospital. Now there will be many days separating us. It is the toughest pill to swallow and it's going to take some adjustment... and yeah, some heartache to get through the first part of the program.
Grams and Cheeks will be watching Jack on the days daddy is working (they are saints, I tell ya!) and Jon has worked up enough comp time to be home more. It's really amazing how it came together.
I am excited to follow a dream (I eventually want to be a Professor) and to become more of a provider for Jack. I am happy to take some of the burden off of Jon and to prepare more for our future. As parents with special needs kids know, it is oftentimes scary to think about the future and the astronomical costs of care. I want to help provide the best for our little guy and to use my skills and abilities outside of our home.
And now it's blog official. As you can imagine, I will be writing less and less as fall approaches, but still promise to let you all know how Jackpants is doing (and probably a few late night posts about how much I am missing my little family and our home in the woods).
As always, I would appreciate your prayers as we start this new adventure. Thanks for always being there for me, for us. I love this community and what you have meant in my life.