|A Son-ography (Part III of a Fleming education)
January 18, 2016
For my third January installment on Fleming Education, I must turn to my mother, who in 1960, after my father, my sisters and she moved to Morgantown, West Virginia, began pursuing her college degree, a journey that wouldn't truly end until 1984, when she earned her M.A. in Public History, graduating at the same time that I graduated with my own B.A. Even beyond that, my mother remained the most intellectually curious person I have ever met. The umblilical cord that connected the two of us may have been intellectual/academic as much as it ever was anatomical.
From embryo to fetus to new-born
I accompanied you to revered rooms
Where pedant professors glared with scorn:
"Pregnant women shouldn't be in school," fumed.
Even though the nursing students giggled,
They protected their favorite prof's wife.
While in the womb as I must have wiggled,
Were their voices a preview of my life?
Did God encourage me to make an exit
During the fortuity of a Spring Break,
Loving hand still guiding from your bedsit,
Despite the times your faith in him quaked.
I cost you a test you couldn't make up,
Yet you quickly got back in a few days.
(I wonder, was Dad tempted to take up,
Pull his weight, to get the rare "C" erased?)
I'd like to say we showed that old jerk,
Five degrees, a certificate 'tween us,
But he'd never understand the hard work,
And twenty years on respond with mean cuss.
I envy your unquenched thirst to learn
Well beyond some teacher's assigned texts,
Even now that God has made you return,
I weigh which of your books I will read next.