The first day of school is a monumental one for any parent—but if you're a parent who is heading back to class yourself, it's even bigger.
Katie Tucker knows all too well. The mom headed back to school for "22nd grade" (which is code for dental school) on August 14, which just so happened to be her son, Edric's, first day of pre-K. The mother/son duo celebrated their big day in the sweetest way: They posed together for their own take on the first day of school photo.
Katie's husband, Scott, shot and shared the photo—and not surprisingly, the adorable (and inspirational!) picture has earned a lot of attention online.
"We've never done a "Pinterest-style" photo before, and we wanted something cute to commemorate what is a very big step for our family," Katie, who already has a graduate degree under her belt, told Parents. "The running joke is that when I graduate from dental school, I will have been in college for more years than grade school. This is also my son's final year at his current school, which we love very much. It's a little bittersweet."
But while both Scott and Katie knew the picture was special, they weren't quite expecting it to go viral. "Part of the reason that I shared it is because I'm tired of our current negative news cycle, and I suspect others are too, so I wanted to put something positive out there," Scott said. "How much it seems to be resonating with parents is both a little surprising but also heartening."
The couple also wanted to prove a point: That parents can (and do!) pursue their academic goals alongside raising their kids. "Going back to school as a parent is special and presents its own set of challenges, but I'm not unique," Katie said. "There are several other parents in my class, and many more throughout the school. Each of us, parents and non-parents have worked very hard to get to where we are."
"In some ways, going back after kids is a great way to learn about, and stick to, your priorities," Scott added. "As long as both parents are fully on board with their new tasks and day-to-day routines, I don't see why having kids should be a deterrent for anyone looking to further their education. It can also be a great way to lead by example. "
We couldn't agree more! And the mom in this sweet photo said it best. "It's amazing what you can accomplish after you have kids," she told us. "The more you are challenged, the more you can do. Being a parent is by far the most challenging, and rewarding job I've held. You wear so many hats as a parent, that adding one more isn't too bad."