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A Mother's Graduation Survival Guide

Posted on 25 May 2010

I tell you, we Moms take this "baby bird flying from the nest thing" really hard.

. I have been moping and crying for weeks in anticipation of Jack's graduation from high-school, but I am happy to tell you that I have discovered just what we Moms need to survive this emotional severing of the apron strings. . May I present:
TACTIC #1: Diversion
(This is a simple little thing anyone can do to get your mind off of the immediate and focusing on something else)
  • PROCEDURE: Secretly dress the entire "Clad in purple TCU t-shirts (Aunt Audrey's clever idea) and surprise your child by showing up at his commencement dressed in his future Alma Mater hue.  The idea here is to be 'group giggling' and talking about the shirts and the about the potential shock on your graduate's face.
  • OUTCOME: This is really a nice diversion tactic and it works well for about 4 minutes.  Mother's be warned, as soon as you see Baby Bird #2 dressed in his t-shirt you will be reminded that he too is just a few short years away from flying from your nest.... therefore, you must quickly and swiftly move to TACTIC #2.
TACTIC #2: Intensified Diversion
(I should have moved directly to this earlier in the covert-op but, hey, I didn't want to rain on Aunt Audrey's parade)
  • PROCEDURE: Grab a prop. Particularly anything you can hold up to your eyes such as a camera, cam recorder, opera glasses, monocle, etc.
  • OUTCOME: This is a sure fire defense that always works.  You stay busy jockeying for position, fiddling with lenses all the while with a camera pressed firmly to your eye effectively camouflaging running mascara.  It is also considered a home run and worth extra bonus points if you actually have film and a charged battery in the device. (Sorry, Jack, no home videos)
. .  
TACTIC #3: All Eyes Forward
  • PROCEDURE: NEVER, NEVER look at the child's other parent! This one will sneak up on you when you least expect it.  In my case, I turned to look at Jack's dad and he was in the middle of a most unfortunate meltdown.  He apparently hadn't read up on my 'Graduation Survival Guide' prior to the occasion.
  • OUTCOME: As soon as this happens you must go into FULL ALERT mode. Know that you will have to maneuver through this phase with blurred vision, but be strong, - you can do it! Simply divert (there's that word again) your eyes from the squalling parent and pretend to be putting your camera back in its proper stowage up under your seat. Keep head down until all is clear.
. .  
TACTIC #4: Gambler Mode
  • PROCEEDURE: Yes, finally and unfortunately, if all else fails to keep your floodgates in check you may find you must capitulate and rely on the great wisdom of the Country & Western philosopher, Kenny Rogers:
You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em."
  • OUTCOME: Just throw in the towel and let the tears roll ... then hug your grad,  kiss him, and tell them you love him....
...and Moms we will be OK.  God meant for our birds to fly.
. .  

More Posts


  • Debra Bolnick: May 16, 2016

    Oh my gosh…I feel it honey and your pain. Had two girls and if high school graduation isn’t enough, we have college, if that isn’t enough, we have Vet School, and they marriage…………does the flow ever stop?

  • Audrey Franz: May 16, 2016

    do you have an agent for the book?

  • Cheryl: May 16, 2016

    Oh Debra, that is NOT what I needed to hear…I can’t even image a wedding. I guess I will need to start a new book for that one NOW! lol

  • DorisLoredo: May 16, 2016

    Congratulations Jack! I am sure you will fly back south for the winter.

  • Cheryl: May 16, 2016

    No, I figured you could do it in your spare time!

  • karen greer: May 16, 2016

    Great stuff. I have graduated 4 children,3 college,2 grandchildren HS and this year 3 grandchildren HS. Also 5 weddings.. my tears overfloweth. The pictures also make the flow begin again. Just bask in the pride!

  • Beth Newton: May 16, 2016

    Love it!!

  • Irene Rawlings: May 16, 2016

    Oh, Cheryl, this is all so true and, as you have said, it starts the moment when you drop them off for kindergarten.

  • Cheryl: May 16, 2016

    “fly back south for the winter” – READ AS: he will be speeding south on I35 in December (Christmas break) to have his laundry done and refill his wallet.

  • Cheryl: May 16, 2016

    I’m proud of him – just not ready for him to fly the nest!

  • Cheryl: May 16, 2016

    you just wait, Beth – you will be there before you know it!

  • Cheryl: May 16, 2016

    Well, to tell you the truth Leah, I did hold Jack back. I made him repeat Kindergarten because he has an August birthday. Secretly I knew it would give me another year with him in the nest. Perhaps I should have looked at having him fail more grades so I could sit on him a while longer! (I’m sure he would have loved that!)

  • Cheryl: May 16, 2016

    … and it hurts.

  • Leah: May 16, 2016

    Exactly why did I read this?!?!? Ben just finished 8th grade and I am in denial. I am coming out of the easiest years. High school, hormones, girls, hormones, sports, hormones, driving. Maybe I can hold him back?

  • Donna Clement: May 16, 2016

    Love it! Our son will be graduating in less than 2 weeks! I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed but excited! We are sending him from Washington state to BAYLOR University in the fall.
    I know God has big plans for this kid!
    Thanks again for the “fun” survival tactics!
    Donna (Seattle, WA)

  • Jean Manning: May 16, 2016

    I am cryiing with you Cheryl. I was thinking the same thing last August when I dropped Carson off for his first day of Kindergarten, that before I know it he will be graduating and I want the next 13 years to go by slow :) . Friday will be his last day and will be a first grader…this year went by too fast…. CONGRATS JACK !!!!

  • Cheryl: May 16, 2016

    Just curious Donna, how did you come by Double Talk’s blog post?

  • Cheryl: May 16, 2016

    Donna, Double Congratulations – 1st for your son’s graduation, and second for his choice in universities! Baylor is my Alma Mater, so of course I think he made an excellent and wise choice. And, hey, since you are going to be so far away and we are just a couple of hours away, can we help with anything? I’ll be literally driving right pass the campus on my way to visit my son, Jack, at TCU. I would love to help in any way I can…drop off a batch of homemade cookies,…give’em a hug of encouragement…etc. Please don’t hesitate to ask!

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