Thursday, September 23, 2010

sappy but happy

"I like reading.  And writing.  And talking.  I think I'll go to law school!" 

That was the extent of my logic. I was young (21) and crazy (let's leave it at that).  Plus I was big into politics and politicians are all lawyers.  Deep analysis, I know.  I signed up for an LSAT class on a whim, right around the time I started dating a hilarious, pensive kid in my French class. I finished up my law school applications at a public library in the middle of nowhere New York, with my poor mission companion (now a Mary Kay lady) reading over my personal statement wondering how to get me to hurry so we could hit the laundromat and maybe have time to grab a sammich.

Anyway, in those days, I thought I was such a big deal.  I had big, big plans that involved big, big schools (and big, big debt) and no husband and definitely no babies. Remember how I met this guy who talked me into the J. Reub?

The first time I walked into the law school for a tour, I had been home from my mission for three days. I was incredibly awkward, naively earnest and cringe-tastically self-conscious in a way that only sister missionaries with an extra twenty pounds can be. By the first day of class that August, I was still awkward, earnest, and self-conscious, only now I was engaged to that handsome kid from French class.

Early one Saturday morning when I was a 2L, my car wouldn't start.  I had about an hour to travel fifty miles and argue in front of a panel of judges about whether pre-arrest silence could be used as substantive evidence of guilt.  (Riveting, right?)  I'd been preparing for months. So even though my new husband was fast asleep and had a million places to be later that day, with thirty seconds notice, he drove me the fifty miles (in his PJs, no less) and I made it there with about thirty seconds to spare. And when it was over, my mom drove me the whole way home.  Ditching your plentiful Saturday plans at the drop of a hat to help your wife or daughter do her thing.  Is that true love or what? 

Because of that Saturday, I ended up winning an award that made it sound like I had cancer.  (Spoiler alert: I don't.) 

And one of the law school secretaries left me an awesome "Where are you????" voicemail as I was giving birth because my Wills and Estates final was starting.  Husband spent several long, will-send-him-straight-to-heaven hours trying to distract our hungry newborn in a study room as I sat on one of those inflatable donuts and made up the test 7 days later.

Remember how on the first day of school as a 3L, at the last minute I had to bring my four-month-old baby to class?  And how I ended up staying at school with her for more than twelve hours as classes and meetings piled up, and my car broke down on the freeway on the way home and EVEN THE HAZARD LIGHTS WOULDN'T WORK?

And how about when we decided to move to the Midwest on a whim a week after graduation and I had to take two bar exams?  And when my mom babysat her brains out so I could study for the first exam, and then sponsored my Beehive babysitting fund from 1200 miles away to allow me to study for the second?

Anyway, it's been such a cool and varied experience and a significant number of my favorite people on earth are people I met in law school.  And, pretty much every milestone I've had as an adult has happened between point A of deciding to go to law school (meet hub, finish college, serve mission, adjust from mission, engagement, marriage, pregnancy, hub starts grad school, childbirth, first job, first move across the country, second baby) and point B of actually becoming a lawyer where we live (this week). 

All of these tidbits were running through my head this week, because on Monday, my two-and-a-half-year-old tugged on my suitcoat as my dear husband distracted our eight-month-old with some blueberry puffs, and I was sworn in as a lawyer in our new state. The new lawyers being admitted were scattered throughout the small auditorium, sitting here and there in the crowd with their families. We all stood, repeating "I will" in unison after the Justice posed each question. 

And I don't know quite how to describe it, but as our little girl wrapped her arms around my legs, our baby clapped excitedly and tugged on my necklace, and my happy but exhausted husband smiled at me, I wondered what the young-and-crazy "big deal" gurrbonzo would have thought of this picture. 

And I think she'd like it.

18 comments:

~j. said...

You could be a Mary Kay lady, too. They're all-inclusive.

Just SO said...

I think she would too. I think you are pretty awesome. Congrats on being sworn in and everything that comes with it. Just stay away from the politics ;)

Sara said...

You are absolutely incredible. You were, and - let's be honest - still are, my inspiration.

Motion DeSmiths said...

This was gorgeously written. It made me miss law school and reflect on a younger me's big-shot plans. Congrats on becoming a lawyer.

Laurel said...

That's awesome. Life never ends up exactly like we plan - sometimes it's even better (was that cheesy enough for ya?). Congratulations!

Butchike Bunch said...

What a beautiful path you have taken. Congratulations on this exciting accomplishment!

Motherboard said...

I feel your husbands pain.

My husband took the Illinois state bar and then 4 years and 11 months later decided he would take the Utah state bar.

Why he couldn't wait ONE FREAKING MONTH and get reciprocity is simply beyond me.

I'm not bitter.

(all the professor quotes on your sidebar cracked me up! My husband used to tell me some dooseys from his Chicago Professors.)

Natalia said...

Wow, what a story. Wish mine was anywhere near as exciting as yours.

Anna said...

I think my period is starting, because I just got a few tears in eyes.
Or maybe I just think it is pretty rad.

Lisa R.D. said...

I loved your story! Thanks for the link to the interview... I could listen to Julie B. Beck for hours. I think I will for a bit tonight too (doesn't hurt that our stake will feed us dinner before!).

Joanne Thomson said...

Congratulations and happy birthday to an amazingly talented and beautiful, not to mention funny niece. We love you and want to see pictures of those babies before they are completely grown.

Holly C M said...

What a great story! I imagine it is only the hundredth part of it all but it seems to capture the gist of the whole thing. I'm full of admiration and congratulations for you!

James(and)AnneMarie said...

great background on how you got to where you are now! congratulations!!

xoxo,

us

Lauren said...

I clicked over from a link on my friend's blog and while I don't know you, I wanted to say that your post was very inspirational. Congrats on all your accomplishments.

Samuel said...

Congratulations! That's such a big accomplishment. You could pretty much go on the lecture circuit RIGHT NOW for moms going to law school.

Birdy said...

Brilliantly captured! You are an inspiration. Really amazing journey.

Jared and Laurel said...

You are my hero.

hate2bcold said...

Riveting, as always! Congratulations.