Hand Me a Tissue, Please!

Moms of graduates have bought them all
Image from http://www.kleenex.com/
I apologize.  I, along with every mother in Wake County who has a child graduating from preschool, elementary, middle, and high school, am the reason you couldn’t find Kleenex at Target on your routine shopping trip this week.  Hopefully, Target will restock them soon, but we’re still in the graduation season, so just bear with us.  You may see some empty shelves.

My 5-year-old son graduated from the preschool that he attended for four short years this week.  The kids looked so cute singing their songs, getting their diplomas, and throwing up their hands, saying, “It’s Graduation Day!” 

I actually get a lump in my throat reminiscing about this special milestone in my son’s life. But then again, I had a hard time saying goodbye to my OB practice when my pregnancies were over.  I’m one of those people who looks forward to my annual exam so I can see everyone in practice again.  In fact, my husband thinks I may even create ailments just so I can go unscheduled from time to time.

Graduation is really a happy time, so why the tears?  My son has a new exciting path ahead of him in public school.  He will meet new people who will impact his life forever.   These are all things to celebrate, so why do I drive down the highway, and any thought of his graduation makes my throat dry, and my eyes teary?  Is it because it seems like just yesterday that I brought this sweet 5-pound, 11-ounce blue bundle of joy home? Is it because time and any youth I have left in me are slipping past me at a rapid pace?  Can he really be old enough for kindergarten?  Oh my, I can’t be 42!

Heaven help us, if my son was graduating from high school this year.  Those mamas may need two boxes of Kleenex. If I were in their shoes, I might need a canoe to get out of my house for all the tears I would shed.  Parents who have worked tirelessly in the PTA, athletics and band boosters will now let others take over as their children move on to college.  They are closing a chapter in their lives, and are beginning a new one as parents of college students.  I tear up just thinking about it.  Hold on while I get a tissue.

Luckily for me, I’ve got many more years until high school graduation.  Also, my goodbyes are really just for the summer. My 18-month-old daughter is going to a toddler class this fall at the same preschool that we’ve grown to love through the years.  But I’m still going to need a tissue for the first day of the school year.   

This post was written for my column on the News and Observer's Triangle Mom2Mom parenting website which now runs on Wednesdays.


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