On the Day You Defend Your Thesis

On the day you defend your thesis, Dear Guillaume,

I remember telling you about four and a half years ago, when you first started pondering a PhD, that it would be really nice if you did it before we had kids. (Cue, naïve laughter.) I wasn’t sure if I/we could handle you working full time, plus studying in all your spare time, AND having kids. Hmmm… All I can say is God’s grace is sufficient, because I’m looking back and realizing, not only did we have three kids in the past three years, you also worked full time, finished a PhD in record time, I graduated, run a small business, and we still somehow keep up with the laundry, dishes, and toys, and still find time to smile at each other and fall in love again. (To anyone reading this, please know that “keep up with” doesn’t mean spotless and clean, it just means that things are generally taken care of before they grow mold… usually…) So, so much for finishing before we had kids. I’m amazed that you finished, given the insane amount of work that went into the endeavor, but knowing you I really shouldn’t be surprised. I’ve never met someone with a stronger work ethic and drive when it comes to your research, and this passion you have welling deep inside of you to find the truth and share it with the world.

So instead of finishing this crazy dream before we had kids, you waited until we found out we were pregnant with Piper to start. Oops. And now here I am, almost four years later, sitting in a quiet house (how crazy is that?! You probably don’t even believe me since you’re not here to see it…), with an almost potty trained toddler in her bed, a one year old with hair you keep begging me to get my act together and get it cut (sorry, it still didn’t happen this weekend when you were gone) in his crib, and a swaddled newborn sleeping on my side of the bed (I have to sleep on your side when you’re out of town, a little factoid that I guess you may not know since it only happens when you’re out of town. Either I miss you, or subconsciously I’m jealous since you have the better side of the bed…) And I couldn’t be happier. Yes some days are hard, especially when you’re out of town, but watching everything you’ve accomplished in the last four years has been an amazing journey, and quite simply, every hard moment is worth it. And it’s not simply your research that you’ve accomplished, you have relentlessly pursued me every day of our marriage, you have raised three children alongside of me every day, and you have helped me create a home to raise that family in. And never once have we felt like we “lost you” to your research. You have been there every time we needed you, every time we asked, and all the times in between when I didn’t even have to. Our kids will know one day you completed a PhD when they were little, because they’ll see your name published in books and in journals, not because they had to ask me where was Daddy, why was he always so busy? You’re in every picture, in every memory. I don’t know how you managed to pull it all off. So now I laugh, why on earth did I need you to finish this before we had kids?! I can’t imagine our life any different, or you not working on this project these last four years. It’s helped shape our family into who we are and I love every bit of it.

People call me Supermom, which makes me laugh because really it’s not true, but whatever bit of it is true is only that way because you are the driving force behind me, the “wind beneath my wings” if we were getting sappy (Oh, Bette Midler!), my Superman. (Well, let’s go with Batman, you’ve always liked him better than Superman, and we basically live in Gotham, and well, his house and cars and gadgets… You can be my Batman. Hmmm, Batdad? That could be a cool thing… ). I seriously couldn’t do any of what I do without you guiding me and leading me and constantly holding my hand. Pushing me forward and encouraging me, and pulling me back and reminding me to take it slow and relax.  And thank you, for never complaining when you clean up my messes.

I’ll follow you anywhere, wherever this next chapter leads us, whenever that is. Never stop your relentless pursuit of the truth, never stop your snarky one-liners, never stop making me laugh when I want to cry, and never stop making me fall in love with you.

Yours forever.


P.S. However, if you could stop applying the rules of logic to our discussions to try to win the arguments, I would highly appreciate it. Thanks babe.


From my graduation. I can’t wait to see you at yours. xoxo


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