March 11th was supposed to be a day of celebration, when I’d walk down an aisle, light a candle, and be fitted with a nurse’s cap. It was the day I was supposed to don white stockings under my school uniform, wear white shoes, and be officially anointed as a student nurse.
In the Philippines, only after being enrolled as a full-time student for a minimum of one year and passing a number of prerequisites do you qualify to be called a student nurse. Before that, you were just dipping your toe in the water. After capping, you dive in, head-first, and tackle the burn patients, cases of poisoning, labor and deliveries, gunshot wounds, et al., that come at you while you’re on duty. Make no mistake: Being a nursing student in the Philippines is like being a full-on nurse, but without the pay, the glory, or the credentials. We’re all faking it until we make it to graduation.
Instead of a happy capping ceremony, though, I brought Rob to the airport and struggled with my emotions, and eventually spent a week feeling sad and craving privacy.
Now, here I am, 21-weeks pregnant, strangely bored with life, and feeling like something’s definitely missing. (That would be Rob.) I’m in the midst of taking final exams, struggling to hi-jack my brother’s computer so that I can finish my editing projects, and STILL on the phone with my bank because all of my accounts have been hacked into. I somehow managed to lose my cell phone charger, so that I can’t talk to Rob. And, really? I know that I’m doing all I can to handle all of this crap as responsibly and resourcefully as possible, so I’m kind of bored with it. Yeah, I said it. I’m kind of bored with my own problems. I know they’ll eventually work themselves out, so instead of focusing on them, I focus on my family.
I know that I won’t be able to see Rob in person for at least another year and a half, but I’m thankful to have Riley around. Riley, whose smile can light up the darkest of caves. Riley, who brings his bowl and spoon to the kitchen sink when he’s done eating. Riley, who strums on his uncle’s guitar and composes songs on the piano that really sound like songs. Riley is my golden child, and when we’re together I swear there are no problems in the world. I just see him and hold him and kiss him and know that everything is right. Now that the semester is drawing to a close and I can focus on all of these “problems” that will work themselves out within the next week or so, I’m also spending as much quality time with Baby #1 as possible. I know that his whole world will be different when Baby #2 makes an appearance, and I want to make sure he knows how much he’s loved and cherished and adored. I want to make sure he knows just how immensely beautiful and special he is. I want him to know how grateful we are for him, and how much he’s fixed every single one of us.
Once my two-weeks vacation is over, I go in for my first summer semester of classes. I hear it’s a doozy since the school crams 10 credits’ of classes into 6 weeks. Then there’s another two week break, and I’ll be 30 weeks pregnant.