Its been 6 months since I gave my two week notice. But I’d checked out long before that. Which is pretty scary, considering the line of work I was in. I was a nurse.
I left you, John, when you were 24 hours old. You were born 6 weeks early and went straight to the NICU, I was sent to the women’s health floor. I was a sophomore in nursing school, the student nurse who came to check my vitals was my classmate. We had a zero tolerance absence policy, so the next morning I got dressed and told the staff I was going dowstairs to the NICU to sit by your isolette. But I drove to class instead and was back before anyone noticed. I was going to do right by my baby. I was going to stay in school. I was going to be a nurse.
I waddled across the stage to accept my diploma a few weeks before you were born, Vivi. When you were a week old, I took my state boards exam. My Mom drove us to the city. I nursed you in the car before I went in, and came out a few hours later, t-shirt soaked, 100% positive that I’d totally bombed it. I didn’t. And I started my career as a night nurse in the ICU 7 weeks later.
Over the next few years your Dad and I watched you both grow through tired eyes halfway open. I worked with some of the most wonderful people in an amazing hospital. I landed a great position in a specialty department. I made really, really great money…
And then I got a full 12 weeks paid leave after I had you, Hank. It was a dream, and I never fully woke up. I went back to work, but my heart stayed home with you all and your Dad for good this time.
You don’t know that I work now because I do so from home while you’re napping, or at the coffee shop while you’re at playgroup. We spend all of our time together and even on the days it gets hard being a full time Mom, cleaning lady, chauffer, cook, and all things to all of you – I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’m just “Mom” now. And it feels so good to say that. You’ll probably never remember this, but once upon a time, I was a nurse.