... I'm going blind.
I want to go back to school. I'm smart and talented, and mature enough to do well if I were able to do so. But, I don't have the time... or money really.
The money's not the biggest problem, I've never minded putting classes on credit or taking out loans for them. I believe that whatever I learn will repay me in ways far beyond money. I guess you could say that money is the least of my worries in going back to school this time.
It's the time involved that is the biggest concern now. It's the infrastructure and support system. It's that I have a young son who cannot be left alone. It's that I already work and have to spend time away from him and, though I need my space and adult activities to stay sane, and someone has to be the bread-winner in our dyad, I actually hate giving up any more of our awake time together than I am forced to.
This desire/ need to go back to school is just one of the many scenarios in which it would be good to have a parenting partner and why I'll tell anyone to go traditional with their child rearing practices if they can (or to plan ahead way better than me career-wise if they're going the single parent route). In a way, I have a few parenting partners. My friends have really come together to support me in many ways. Other parents at our daycare have stepped in every now and then to watch James so I could go do something for myself. However, the child's father is still the primary partner in this venture though he has limited his role through some of the personal choices he's made. The fact that I am the fierce guardian of our child's safety and well-being and will not allow some of the repercussions of his father's choices to have an influence on or any contact with our son also limits his involvement in some ways.
Anyway, I think going back to school will have to wait until James is a little more able to take care of himself, or I have a trustworthy partner whom I can trust to have James' and my best interests in mind. Whether this partner is another single mother or a couple with whom I can trade child rearing favors, a romantic partner who wants to make a family with James and I, or maybe his father decides to be honest and trustworthy, and seriously upgrade his priorities, it doesn't matter how it happens. I'm just going to have to wait for more auspicious circumstances to come along.
Going back to school and completing a degree in Nursing, which is what I'm thinking would be a great fit for me, would give James and I a better life. I'd be able to save more money for his college and my retirement, afford a better place for us to live, music and other kinds of lessons, summer camps, better toys and things for him. I'll be able to give him better opportunities. That's what I want. I want my child to have things I didn't. I want him to be able to go to Oxford, or Harvard, or Brown, or MIT, or Julliard, or wherever wants him or he wants to go... because even though some of those places wanted me and even offered me scholarships, I couldn't go... because we couldn't afford it... and I wasn't, now thinking back on it, wasn't really stable and secure enough to have handled it at 17... but I want James to have more and be more than I ever will be. I can't give him that as I am now... but I could, if I grew and changed and became more, myself.
I just don't want to compromise too much... I don't want the time we have now, while he is still so young, to be wasted or cheapened because I'm anxious about his future.
I love being able to come home and play with James for a while before dinner every day, I love playing with him during his baths, at breakfast, etc. I love the weekends when sometimes we get up, eat breakfast, and then go back to bed for a while. I love taking him with me to go do things in the city. I love giving him new foods to try, showing him things, and giving him new music to listen to. I love introducing him to new people.
You should've seen his face when we were at Pachanga Festival and he saw violinist Hadyn Vitera playing. He was mesmerized by the violin and his electric violin (Viper). After the mini-show was over, James ran right up to the stage and stood there watching the musician put away his gear, and bouncing to the music (Hearts on Fire by CutCopy) playing. I know he comes by his love of music naturally. I loved the looks on his face when he had his first mango paleta: COLD... SWEEEEET... MORE!... NOW! You could see all the feelings cross his face like clouds racing across the blue field of a summer sky.
I love snuggling with my child. He gives the best hugs. Unlike adults who guard themselves so closely sometimes and give awkward one-armed "hugs", James' whole being is involved. I love carrying his sleeping body up the stairs from the car. I love being the last person he sees before he sleeps and the first person he sees when he wakes up. I don't want to compromise and lose any of that because of dreams I have for him that may not be what he eventually wants. I mean, he hasn't even begun to dream for himself yet. But then, even if my dreams aren't his, if I do better by myself and for him, it'll give him more room to dream and give me more ability to help him achieve them.
We still have so far to go and I'm very excited about our journey... but I'm trying to be patient too... to plan better than I have before... and to love every minute I have with my son. I'm learning that it's okay to wait... while planning ahead so that when I finally don't have to, I can hit the ground running. :)