Cosmas is eating solids now, a full two months later than I expected. The kid loves his “milkies” as Bruno has lovingly named Cosmo’s food of preference. Watching him eat is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. He is entirely skeptical of spoon feeding. He scrunches up his face and backs away with a clenched jaw, because naturally if I’m trying to put something in his mouth it must be full of prickles and paste. Never mind that he’ll eat literally any speck of twig, tape, LEGO, or even bugs he can round up. Eight months old is the beginning of all the everything. It’s all the sweetness and the stubbornness and the opinions and the personality and the cuddles and the knowing who’s who and what’s what. And so, doing some simple math here: solids + feisty baby = lots of baths.
Our five and a half years in graduate school have brought me to some of my lowest moments (months?), and my highest. We’ve been married for all of these years, we’ve had children for all of these years, and I’ve been a stay at home mom for all of these years. We’ve gotten fairly good at grad student life, but there are seasons that things are simply difficult. Once we have things “figured out,” something changes and throws everything off balance again. Life was pretty smooth for our first 2 years of phD work, but then we added a baby, and it was like how a surprise collision at the farmer’s market would go down. Two people collide, baskets fly dramatically into the air and all the contents get jumbled and bruised and broken. Your metaphorical feathers are ruffled, and you have to at once splutter apologies and scramble to salvage what you can of your life, er, I mean produce. Of course, adding a baby is hardly a tragic change, and for that we’re grateful. But it’s still a big change. A beautiful, wonderful, and completely miraculous one. Just look at that guy!
We have been a graduate school family for 5 years now, and are about to begin our sixth. Each year we get better at it, and we finally feel like we’re over the hump and are beginning to thrive in this weird world of graduate student adulthood. We already had our first child when we began this journey, and I fell pregnant with our second during my husband’s first semester of graduate school at Duke Divinity. Now we eagerly await the arrival of our third just as Cody begins his 6th year of graduate school, and 3rd in his doctoral program. We’ve had epic adventures, with kids by our side, and have seen our family grow and mature not in spite of graduate school, but in part because of graduate school. We are grateful for the restrictions it has placed on us, and for the ways that we’ve had to work hard at living well and intentionally where we are placed.
This is how we do it. Continue reading