What a treat this topic is! Unfortunately, I have been caught up in the "Ticking Time Bomb" thread which has been combative, argumentative, and divisive. I came home from the university in my second summer and announced to my parents that I was going to go to nursing school. They were relieved that I had actually developed a career path! Given that I was financing my own secondary education, I opted to attend the local community college for their ADN program. Much to my surprise my mother decided that she would fulfill her personal goal of nursing at the same time. There we were, mother and daughter, nursing students. Always in the same classess and often in the same labs and clinicals. School was always easy for me, I was used to classes and papers and studying, and I was young, so I played (alot). My mom was a very smart woman and she was a perfectionist, so she spent hours preparing and studying and reviewing. She was an excellent typist, her hands simply flew on the keys...she had supported herself and her 2 children as a legal secretary after her divorce...so she typically typed all of our papers from the long-hand drafts. We were in a psych class together and she went to Hawaii with my dad...so I prepped both of our papers in her absence. She returned and typed them. Because the papers were (probably obviously) authored by one individual they accused me of riding my mom's coattails. My mom dropped out the very next week. She finished her ADN after I was graduated and off campus. I know my mom was proud of me. She told me in so many little ways over the years, and she came right out and told me much later. But, you know, I am not sure that I ever told her that I was proud of her. All the while I was a hotshot pediatric critical care nurse she was taking care of alot of "old people" first in cardiac care then in oncology. We would have Sunday dinners and, of course, she would ask about my work. I would have some fabulous tale of saving the mva victim, or the tragedy of the accidental shooting of the toddler...and she would listen and smile and then tell a story of sitting with a dying man while his family was travelling to the hospital, a man she knew well from his battle with some cancer or such. I didn't know what to say to her in those days. I didn't get it. Where was the adrenaline in that work, where was the thrill? My nursing evolved over the years. I got married, had children, dealt with the PICU from a parent's perspective, and beat breast cancer...all of these things changed me as a nurse. When I went into hospice nursing 4 years ago my mother confessed that she always wanted to do that. Two years ago this month I sat with my mom as she died in her Florida living room. I told her I loved her, that I would miss her, that I would be okay and she could go. I wish I had told her how proud I was of her...that she was the best nurse I ever knew. I finally got it.
I know you are proud of your son. I bet he is proud of you too!