Man, am I happy that the woman I'd hoped would take me on has agreed. And just in the nick of time! She wrote me quickly after I emailed her and I went to her office for in interview to discuss the particulars of my class and needs. She is a Russian immigrant who has a master's degree in Electrical Engineering while in Russia and worked at a software engineer for NASA. After she came to the US and studied nursing, starting with an AS degree and continuing with school until earned her master's in nursing, specializing in midwifery. She's been teaching at the local community college for the past 3 years, while working in a busy practice with one partner at a nearby hospital. She hasn't had a vacation in a while since her colleague went to Malasia for an extended period of time, so she's now taking a break and going to Hawaii before school begins. She seems pretty easy going and understanding of what it's like to be a student. She wants to give me the experience I need and is also excited that I might teach her and the students a bit about infertility. We've divided up the time and figured I'll be spending all day Mondays with her and occasional Thursday and attend a couple of the monthly administrative meetings. That should give me my 105 hours within the next 3 months, and plenty to write about in the long scholarly papers and reflection writings I'm expected to do.
I also connected with a small agency called Families for Families to volunteer at least 4 hours of my time and learn about them and how they serve the underserved and poor/needy families within our geographic area. I could have stayed with the other agency I'd started with--The Giving Tree, but I didn't really appreciate the volunteer coordinator there. So, on to something new. This newer agency was created by a friend of mine so it will feel good to help her out with her mission to bring relief to families who need help.
Now, all I have to do is write some "objectives" that are measurable, get the contracts and agreements signed and send it all in electronically to my master's program. Oy. It's a lot of work! But it's only beginning.
This evening I attended the first REI journal club meeting. We met at a nearby Black Angus restaurant. It was really nice to hang out and discuss personal and professional issues--one doc is moving and the trials involved in that, politics and the upcoming elections, practice issues, case presentations, and of course the 2 journal articles that one of the doctors picked out. Mom came over and babysat while I was away. I felt guilty the whole time I was sitting at the restaurant with my colleagues. In fact, as I think about it, the ONLY times I don't feel guilty is when I'm at work T-F, 9-5:30 and any time I spend with T. Any more time spent away from T for any reason and I feel very uneasy. Like I'm not where I'm supposed to be. I'm burdening someone else with my child and responsibilities, and I'm missing out on spending hours with my son that I'll never be able to get back.
Am I sick? Or unbalanced, that I can't fully enjoy myself away from my child? Other parents make excuses to go to a weekend get-away without their kids. I can't. Maybe it's because I'm a single parent. I'm it. I want to do the best that I can for him. And in my mind, the best I can give him is me. At least for now at this point in his life.
I realize I can't be all things for him, at all times. But those experiences will be later. Now, he's mine and very shortly he will be needing more experiences that don't/won't involve me. I just want to soak up every bit of Ts growing up and learning new things as I can. Without being intrusive or overbearing. I'm sure I'll be able to recognize that line when it comes. :)