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March 07, 2008

Rewards of my Good Behaviour

Written by Ilona

Last spring, after four years of university at my very own alma mater (I'm so proud) my eldest earned herself a degree in anthropology. Haley loved her studies, particularly those aspects surrounding ritual and rites of passage. She loved university, she loved her courses, her profs, all that amazing new information. When she finished her undergrad, she was going to pursue a Master's degree. Field work in some exotic locale. It was all very exciting.

Which is why, three weeks after her courses ended and before she had the B.A. in her eager little hands, she'd enrolled in college to become an RMT -- a Registered Massage Therapist. Not grad school. College.*

She didn't want to become an anthropologist after all.

When she told me last spring, she was a little nervous. Would mum go ballistic? Berate her for the waste of time and money? Scold her for not being able to make up her mind? Try to guilt her into pursuing the field of her degree? Worry to death about her daughter's inevitable starvation on the streets? Scream, cry, faint?

Perhaps some of those options flitted through my head as she spoke, but when I opened my mouth, gracious pearls of motherly acceptance fell from my lips. Sincere gracious pearls.

"You're twenty-one. This is your time to explore your options. This is your time to decide who you are. If you don't chase what interests you now, you may never get to. You'd already planned on a master's. You'll be spending the same amount of time in studies, and this way, with the therapist training, you'll have two possible career options to pursue."

You know, I totally ROCK as a mother. Sometimes I just sit back and watch myself in maternal action with a big silly grin on my face.

And this week I received the reward for my Excellent Mothering. It's March Break up here. (No, we don't call it "Spring" break. It's currently 22F out there, and the snow outside my window is drifted five feet deep. Spring? HA.)

It's March Break, and I spent the first three days of the week visiting Haley at her apartment in her city, seven hours away.

And while I was there, I went to her college, where her classmates were delighted to meet "Haley's mom". While I was at the college, where they are always looking for guinea pigs on whom to practice their craft, I ...

- received a salt scrub. Oh, my invigorated body! Oh, my tingly new skin!
- AND have the recipe to do it myself, at home!
- sat in a steam box for twenty minutes. Warm, warm, warm to the marrow of my bones. Mmmmm...
- had an hour-long massage on my creaky old back
- got a diagnosis of potential cause of the the recurrent back pain!!
- and was taught some stretches for it
- had a second hour-long massage to get rid of a series of knots in my calf. (I told you I was creaky.)

I went home a NEW WOMAN, I tell you! I am totally ON to something here. Once you're past forty ... Huh. Let us not be coy: When you're pushing fifty, those aches and pains are only going to get more common. And now, right in my very own family, I have an ache-and-pain PROFESSIONAL.

And have I earned a lifetime of free massages and general whole-body pampering?

You bet your butt I have.

*In Canada, university is for professions; college is for trades. Universities grant degrees; colleges give certificates and diplomas. There are the odd hybrid exception to this rule, but it's pretty standard.


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