Graduation time can bring out a wide range of emotions

Published 8:51 am Monday, May 18, 2015

One of the highlights of a young person’s life is high school graduation, and that day is coming up soon. The kids rejoice, and their moms cry because their babies are so close to being adults.

I never could understand the crying thing. I didn’t cry when my four started school, and I certainly didn’t cry when they graduated. I was always happy to see them move on in life and let me do the same.

And moms, you needn’t worry. Those kids are usually still around for a long, long time, especially the boys. You almost have to bribe them to leave home. They know when they have a good thing!

My son did not like school from his first day in the classroom when he was told to sit down and close his mouth. All the years he was in school, I had to plead with him to get ready for school, and I’d practically throw him on the bus every day.

Did I cry when he graduated from high school? No way! I patted myself on the back for getting him that far. In fact I told him from that day on I would not be responsible for his education, and if he wanted it, he would have to do it on his own.

Surprise! He’s a college graduate! And I didn’t cry when he graduated from college! I shouted for joy!

When my children graduated from high school, I was never able to sit down and enjoy it. I had to photograph the event for the newspaper. By the time my grandchildren graduated, thank goodness somebody else did the photography and I got to enjoy it. Two of them graduated the same year. (I did shed a few tears last year when my granddaughter Erin Byrd graduated…I just couldn’t help it.)

One of my daughters, who shall forever remain nameless, was reduced to tears just before graduation. I went in to her room and found her sitting cross-legged in the middle of the bed just sobbing like her heart would break. Naturally I offered my support with a hug and asked why she was so upset.

“I don’t know what I am going to do,” she sobbed. Apparently she had not decided what she was going to do with the rest of her life, and it was really bothering her.

I calmly assured her that she didn’t have to make a decision right then, that her dad and I were not going to throw her out of the house just because she was graduating. She had it in her mind that after graduating she was supposed to be on her own.

After we got that cleared up, she made it through graduation and she later made good decisions about her life and career. We can’t take lightly the feelings of our kids as they cross that invisible line from being a teen-ager to being an adult. It is a big step.

I don’t remember too many other events at graduation, but I do recall my oldest daughter had a virus the night she graduated and she had to give a speech. I felt for her, but I didn’t cry. Somehow she made it through, and I lived to see her graduate from college and get her master’s.

I am so proud of all my children with their accomplishments, and I know most moms feel the same. However, crying was reserved for the births of our grandchildren. That’s a different thing altogether!

High school graduation is wonderful time of life for our young people. They have worked hard to earn that diploma and deserve all the applause they can get. I congratulate them all!

The next step is college graduation, and moms don’t usually cry at those. In fact, at that event the moms and the dads usually have the biggest smiles you can possibly imagine. They are way past ready to celebrate!