Five years and two months ago, my husband and I packed up, gave away or tossed all our worldly possessions and moved with our three kids (one of whom was only a few months old) across the country to start a new way of life: the life of a student.
For five years and two months, we have scrimped and saved, made it do or done without while my husband has pursued his long time dream of getting his Ph.d.
I knew that it could be a long and arduous process, but, to be honest, I had no idea just how grueling it would be for both of us.
The culmination of my husband's degree was a two-hour defense where three of his professors grilled him on the minutiae of the dissertation over which he had (literally, in some cases) poured his blood, sweat and tears.
As a wife, watching that process, I'm not sure that I've experienced anything harder than watching my husband defend his dissertation (except, perhaps, childbirth without an epidural). I felt like I was on a roller coaster of pride and fear. Every time his professors challenged a point in his thesis, I thought, "Oh no, what if he didn't think of that?" Each time he would respond by confidently and boldly shooting holes in their challenges, often by quoting philosophers and thinkers who supported his stance (this from the guy who can never remember the name of that actor from "that one movie--you know the one").
At those times, I would swing from my feeling of fear to a feeling of pride that bordered on awe. I don't think I've experience anything else like this in our thirteen years of marriage.
At the end of his defense (and "defense" is a truly appropriate word for what took place), his professors each took a turn describing the incredible gifts and abilities that they see evidenced in my husband.
Not only did he "pass," he passed "with distinction." I would like to nominate my husband for the "distinctive doctor" award.
How about you? Do you know anyone deserving of an award?