slide show

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Dear Sunny (on getting pinned)


I got home on Sunday. Papa held down the crazy fort while I traveled with my mom to New Mexico. Livy and her friend (the more adventurous long-road trip, camping type) met us there. I was giddy with excitement and pride, and I cried like a baby in the hallway when nobody was looking shed a couple tears too. It was a wonderful few days and marked yet another transition in parenting.

Sunny, our oldest child, graduated from nursing school. She officially got pinned! (A nurse pinning ceremony is a tradition to signify that completion of a nursing program. Like a graduation.)
Currently she's studying for her boards which she'll take in a couple months, which we know she'll pass with flying colors. I'm not sure if y'all know how hard nursing school is. If you've gone through it or know someone who has you know what I'm talking about. It's 2 years of stress, sleeplessness and general all-around awfulness, often while getting thrown up and pooped on by sick and grouchy people that don't like you in the first place. All while wearing white scrubs... and whoever thought that color choice was a good one needs to be talked to! There's little room for error, ('cause we're talking about people's lives after all) and instructors firmly and constantly remind their students of this as they push them to do better. Sunny's class started with about 35 students, and only 11 graduated, and I'm pretty sure Sunny's a super hero if you ask me!
Over the last 2 years, Sunny has called me in tears because of demanding instructors, ornery patients and tough-to-impossible tests. But she's also called me so excited the first time she did compressions on a real live patient or watched a baby be born! We've talked after each clinical rotation, and I've listened to the inflection in her voice as she considered if ER, LDR, mental health, ICU, surgical... would be a good field for her in the years to come. Parenting long distance is hard, and I've learned to text quickly! But it is necessary of course as children leave the nest, and it's a huge a privilege to do to for this amazing young woman that coincidentally happens to be my daughter.
Papa and I often remark how we are simultaneously parenting so many different seasons of childhood in our crazy family. It's one of the things that makes us so crazy after all. Grade school, middle school, high school, college and now a grown daughter with a husband and home of her own. I had a conversation with a dear friend of mine yesterday. As I get older, it's no surprise that my energy level has gone down. No longer do I jump out of bed in the middle of the night for a tooth fairy visit, and awful sounds come from my body when I have to get up off the floor. In many ways parenting little ones now is a tougher job, certainly physically harder than when I was in my 20's or early 30's, when I could easily do with less than 8 hours sleep and my joints didn't creek like they do now. I just don't have the energy that I once had a couple decades ago. But I also remember all the energy that I used to spend on stupid stuff when I was a young parent. Finding just the right party invitation. Who to invite and what to serve at play group. The stress from an off-handed remark from a "friend." The hours spent on finding the best schools. I spent a lot of time and energy on things that didn't really matter back then. I fretted over stuff that really was inconsequential in the long run and didn't amount to a hill of beans. When Sunny was born, I actually declared that there would be no plastic toys for any of my children and didn't let her have any refined sugar until her 2nd birthday. I'm not sure what I was thinking. I'll blame if on being in my 20's. Now I'm in my late 40's (ouch) and still making the same decisions. But now one of the wonderful advantage of being a veteran parent, is that I know where to focus my efforts. I know what matters and what doesn't, or at least I hope I do. I don't sweat the small stuff and what folks think about me in the process really doesn't affect me as much any more. So yeah, there's less energy to give parenting as I grow older, but now I know that there's really just a few things that matter to my family and my children, and that's where my energy and effort should be spent. Loving on my children and spending time with them. Helping them through their own decision making. Being the net when they fall and their biggest cheer leader when they succeed. And there's more than enough energy for what really matters in the end. (And still enough left over to spend on some frivolous things like photography, bubble baths, and going to the movies with my favorite friends every once in a while.)

So anyway, yeah, I'm getting older, and I'm still parenting young children, (and old children too) but it all works out. I like the confidence that over 20 years of parenting has brought, confidence to know that even when I'm trying my best, usually I'm doing great. Even so I will mess up, plenty, but I can admit it, learn from my mistakes and try to be a better mom because of it. And that will be enough. That's all I ask of my children after all.

So, Sunny, let me assure you, that you WILL pass your boards, (hopefully even on the first try, but if you don't that's okay too.) and you will be a wonderful nurse. You have it in you already. You always did! You will mess up. You will forget. You will be late, get hollered at, thrown up on and get someone else's poop on your hands. But you will grow and learn from your mistakes and your experiences. You will find a better and more efficient way. You will be someone's hope as they hold your hand searching for comfort. You will have the skills to ease pain and share compassion without pity. You will have the greatest privilege to see new life come into the world and see other lives leave. You'll learn what really matters and what doesn't. You will eventually lead others, and learn when it is more important to follow. And trying your hardest, even when you fall short, will be enough, more than enough actually.

And you will always be one of my greatest sources of pride.

10 comments:

  1. Nancy~~Beautifully written.

    In my mind, the nursing profession is challenging and demanding. I have a HUGE, HUGE respect for nurses ~to do what they do, requires a special personality. Cheering Sunny on for success in the board exams!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nurses are under-rated. I had no idea how hard the program was before this. I wanted to be a nurse when I graduated HS but the program I wanted was out of state and that wasn't a possibility. But now I'll have TWO nurses in our family since Liv is following in her sister's footsteps! (It was actually Livy's idea first, since she was a very little girl.) I'm a very proud mama!

      Delete
  2. Congratulations to your daughter Sunny on her graduation! That is such an exciting time! I can still remember my pinning ceremony from 16 years ago. I am now finally finishing my bachelors and wish I would have done it right away after my associates but what did I know.....lol. Tell Sunny, the sky is the limit in nursing, she can be any kind of nurse she wants and can go many different directions. I started out in ICU and it helped me to branch out any direction I wanted later. She will do great on her boards!! ��

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She intends on starting her BSN as soon as she passes her boards. Nobody is hiring without BSN anyways in these parts. She can hopefully get her BSN in 2 semesters if all goes right. Thank you so much for the encouragement!

      Delete
  3. Having worked in healthcare for 11-½ years (on the admin side), I can attest to the difficulties faced by Sunny in earning that pin -- CONGRATULATIONS to her, to her Mama, and to the entire C9 Clan! (And IMO her mama's attempts at doing the best she can often outstrip what others insist is THE "absolute best ever" parenting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I gotta tell you... I needed that tonight. Thank you. Some days/moments/seasons are harder than others. Thank you! (And Sunny's gonna ROCK this thing! I just know it!)

      Delete
  4. Congratulations to your daughter for her accomplishment! As a Nurse I know what shes been through and where shes going! Nursing is definitely a calling ! I know she will pass her boards the first time! Way to go Sunny! #nursesrock

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
 
Design by Deluxe Designs
all rights reserved. 2011