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I just watched my mom graduate nursing school. She walked across the stage after six years of work, and I cheered like a madman.
My mom got pregnant with me when she was 21. She had just reached the legal drinking age, and already she was having a kid. She had to grow up faster than her peers, and take on a huge responsibility probably 10 years too early.
I remember on her first day of school, she came into my room with her back pack and her travel mug full of coffee, looking like an ecstatic little kid. I took my phone off the bedside table, and took a picture. I imagine this is how she must’ve felt, when she saw me off to my first day of high school.
Even in 2017, women are still commonly expected to put motherhood before their ambition. But watching my mom go through school, I got to see her as more than a mother, but as a woman empowered.
My mom made sure I had the opportunities she didn’t. She paid for me to participate in community theater, while working a job her heart wasn’t in, and taking loans from her parents. That’s why it was so satisfying to see her finally get her walk across that stage, and accept her diploma.