Welcome Birthday Guest Z.A. Maxfield!

What’s a significant birthday?

I’ve been trying to write this for a while, and I think my problem is I’m not sure I’ve had a significant birthday. For some reason, forty comes to mind as a productive birthday. That year, I finally conquered the classes standing between me and an AA degree, even though I had four kids under the age of six. I had to take three math classes: “Dumb stuff I should have learned in middle school,” “Dumb stuff I should have learned in high school,” and “Dumb stuff I needed to learn for some kind of degree.”

My husband used to load up all the kids in the car and drop me off so I didn’t have to pay for a parking permit and also, so I didn’t have to walk out to the lot late at night by myself. One time, I remember, Zack had the kind of high fever only kids get when they have relatively benign viruses, and I felt horrible leaving them.

Also, there was my math bugaboo. For some, this will be difficult to understand, but women my age got very mixed messages about education. We were sort of caught between fifties ideology and first wave feminism so while we often heard the message women can do anything, the reality might have been that our math teachers were still opining that “Boys are better at math, so it’s understandable that you don’t get it,” and “you’ll never have to use this because you’ll only be a housewife, anyway.”

Of course later, I realized–maybe somewhere around forty–that being a “housewife” and particularly being a “Mother” meant I would need every single skill I’d ever learned in school and in life, but that’s a digression.

When I turned forty, my children yelled “Go mama, go mama, go mama,” while doing that stir the dance kids did back then, as I walked across the stage and got a diploma I never believed I could get.

My family still supports whatever I do. That makes every birthday blessed, if not significant.

In honor of Amber’s birthday, I’ll be giving away a copy of “Three Vlog Night.”


23 thoughts on “Welcome Birthday Guest Z.A. Maxfield!

  1. Thank you for the post. I too would struggle with picking a significant birthday if asked. Congratulations on finishing your degree.

  2. I get the not having a significant birthday that stands out. Congrats on getting your degree.

  3. Your story made me smile. My husband works for a university that caters to “non traditional” students. (No names). Congrats on your degree.

  4. Finishing a degree is significant whenever you do it but combining it with a birthday is even better.

  5. A degree is an significant event no matter what age but it is more significant the older you get so YEAH for you girl and I still hate math which getting it at 40 is fantastic from my point of view.

  6. Congratulations on getting your degree. It sounds like your have a very loving a supportive family.

  7. Yeah, I get the math phobia! Schools switched to “New Math” when I was a kid, my family couldn’t even help me with it… Good for you, to fight for your degree, and congratulations!

  8. Congrats on the diploma, I grew up in the same era and my father did not speak to me for the first 2 years I was in college because I did not go to secretarial school

  9. I can see the Go Mama dance, that would have a been awesome to see. Congrats on getting your degree. I didn’t get that far myself.

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