it was not for naught

It's 4:47am, and I just woke up from the strangest dream where I found myself singing in front of two strangers in hopes they would pick me among the dozens of other students waiting outside in the rain for a half scholarship to the college of my choice. As I left the audition with my demo tapes spilling out of some half-broken cardboard box, I met my best friend Ashley outside who had just auditioned before me. We linked arms and rushed away from the long line of worried and hopeful faces.

The dream woke me because I so vividly remember cranking out essay after essay in hopes I would receive that extra $50/$75/$100 scholarship to put toward my college tuition. I managed to earn a few scholarships, but they hardly made a dent in my tuition payments, and yet I am still so very grateful that I sacrificed my time and money to go to college. (I am also glad that I never had to audition for a scholarship because although Ashley would've been great at that kind of thing, I would've slumped away in shame. I don't do well when it comes to solos. So phew, thank goodness I was only required to write.)

Looking back now, college seems like a million years ago. In reality, it's only been 7 years since I graduated. Sometimes I chuckle when I think of all the years I spent in the classroom only to find myself changing diapers and wiping boogers. I think of my diploma sitting untouched in a box somewhere waiting to be used, and I wonder if I ever will use it. Will I ever teach high school English again? The question hangs in the air. There are days I think definitely yes, and there are days I consider returning to school once my girls are grown to obtain a different degree. I wouldn't mind going back to school.

As a stay-at-home-mom, I suppose it would be easy to negate all the hard work I accomplished during my time at college because it would appear that all those lessons and lectures have been forgotten in my current stage of life, but it is not the truth. A week does not pass when I don't hear the words of Shakespeare, Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, Henry Thoreau, etc. in my mind. In fact, I think time has made their words resonate more than they did ten years ago. And although it appears my days are at the mercy of glue sticks and glitter (and they really are), I know that I have a wealth of knowledge at my fingertips that I impart on a daily basis to my girls.

Just yesterday Mya's teacher called for her final parent/teacher conference, and she told me how much she enjoyed teaching Mya all year. Mya excels in reading and writing, and she is quickly getting better at math too (even though Mya has a hard time believing it), and her teacher praised me for all the time I spend with her at home, and it made me feel good inside. I have worked so hard to teach my girls to love learning--to find happiness in books, number, words, pencils, crayons, and most of all, their imagination. Knowing that Mya not only understands how to create a story but can write one any time she is asked makes me the proudest mom and helps reassure me that college was not for naught. They were grueling years, but they were totally worth it.

They may even be worth it enough for me to audition for some strange men in hopes to go back. ;)

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"Be kind and considerate with your criticism... It's just as hard to write a bad book as it is to write a good book." Malcolm Cowley