Cap And Gown

He brought it downstairs to show me last night–a fat, blue square package wrapped in clear plastic, a blue and white tassel on top, with a metallic ’11 dangling on the side.

“It’s becoming real, isn’t it?” he said. Usually quick with the snark, I was rendered speechless. No tears either, go figure. But it was real enough.

I brushed back the hair covering his eyes and remembered for a second.. Remembered how when he was a baby and sleeping through the night, I’d go into his room and purposefully nudge him.. just enough to wake him.. so I could provide snuggles and rock him back to sleep. I knew he would be the last, and by the fifth time at bat, I also knew these moments would soon be in the wind.

Tears will come later.. much later. There will be that whole letting go business I’ve never been very good at. Plus, I anticipate a few heavy sighs of relief after a solid 35 years of raising children. But mostly, right now at least, it’s about this boy.. this moment. These last months of that true child-at-home time that’s never quite the same after they leave and come back.. Ask anyone.. it’s just not.

The cap and gown are just a representation.. but they’re stark reminders that my days, weeks and months with this one are ending. He’ll get on with his life.. the one he’s anticipated (a good thing), and  I’ll get him to myself sometimes, he’ll visit for brief periods, we’ll talk about the past, we’ll eat favorite food and joke around with each other.. but it won’t be like old times, not really.

Bittersweet, this cap and gown business..


4 thoughts on “Cap And Gown

  1. …in the wind indeed…..well put, life as we knew it forever altered by that graduation day. But onward and upward into the next season which becomes a whole new adventure in this sojourn. As for me, I’m lovin it.

  2. bittersweet. i think i’ve heard my mom say that many a times. 🙂 i’m not too good at all this mumbo jumbo stuff, and i often have to refer to this quote that i love and need to work at…. before these graduation days and many other things in life take place. 🙂 love ya sueann! keep writing!

    “Learn to detach… Don’t cling to things, because everything is impermanent… But detachment doesn’t mean you don’t let the experience penetrate you. On the contrary, you let it penetrate fully. That’s how you are able to leave it… Take any emotion–love for a woman, or grief for a loved one, or what I’m going through, fear and pain from a deadly illness. If you hold back on the emotions–if you don’t allow yourself to go all the way through them–you can never get to being detached, you’re too busy being afraid. You’re afraid of the pain, you’re afraid of the grief. You’re afraid of the vulnerability that love entails. But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your head even, you experience them fully and completely. You know what pain is. You know what love is. You know what grief is. And only then can you say, ‘All right. I have experienced that emotion. I recognize that emotion. Now I need to detach from that emotion for a moment.

    ~ Mitch Albom Quotes from Tuesdays with Morrie

  3. The days, weeks and months with this one are an ending and a beginning… where a piece of yesterday will peek out at you…

    in a smile when he comes home from school at holiday break…

    in his pride when he secures his goals…

    in his compassion as he interacts with other human beings…

    in his capacity for love and generosity as he starts a family with children of his own…

    And you can know that much of what is real in him has come from you.

    *I enjoy reading your blog.

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