For every year of my education, from Pre-K through senior year of college, my Mom insisted on taking a photo of me on my first day of school — sometimes to the point of obsession.
Walking me into class, taking pictures in the hallway, of me with the teacher, doing various accents, frequently making weird, obscure culture and pop culture jokes and puns, that pretty much no one else ever ‘got’ — which she delighted in.
This year, she couldn’t be here with me in Glasgow to demand one in person (she has her own students to torture), or to insist on meeting my professors, but for anyone who knows my Mother, you know that she never takes “no” for an answer, and that the prospect of disappointing her is one of the most heartbreaking — and terrifying — things in the world.
So I took some for her this year on my first day of graduate school before she could ask (albeit mirror selfie format, but under the circumstances I think she can forgive me).
She gave and gives me everything I need — as does Dad — to approach anything I need to with a balanced perspective — complete with a sense of humor which makes life a lot easier to handle. I always knew how much those pictures meant to her, but today it takes on a special meaning being so far away from her, from my Dad, and from the entirety of my supportive and loving east coast community.
I love you Mom, you are my best friend in the whole world, and if I grow to be half the woman, person, educator, and academic you are, I will have succeeded. Thank you for giving me everything that I need.
We did it.