Anyone else feeling weepy about graduating kids?

Sueb20May 11, 2014

Last night, my DS played in his final HS concert -- being involved in music has been a huge part of his HS experience. When he came out at the end in his tux, I had a tear in my eye, which I hid successfully. This morning for Mothers Day, he gave me a card/letter which really made me cry. Just telling me that I'm a great mom and that he'll miss me when he goes to school and that he will "text and call often, even though I pretend I won't." All this is just making me realize how hard the next few months will be. He is not my oldest -- I've been through this once before -- but he is very close to me and has always been "my baby" (even though I have one more younger kid!). Not in a weird way, though -- he's very independent and normal! I know I will be working hard to hold it together at graduation and then trying not to hug him every hour until he leaves for school, 5+ hours away.

At the same time, I am super proud of him and happy that he is going to his 1st choice college and I am not at all worried about how he will do when he gets there. I know this is a new beginning to celebrate, and I will, but the thought of him not living here is really gut wrenching.

Anyone else? And advice on how to put on my big girl panties and just deal with it?

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No advice Sue, sorry. With some kids it hits you like a ton of bricks and with others it seems like the most natural thing in the world. Our kids went off to school earlier than the norm so it was very gradual. By the time they were seniors we barely saw them already and were prepared for them to leave for college. The child with whom we were closest is the one who never called from college, we had to regularly track him down. One went to college closer than her boarding school and we saw her a little more often, which was an unexpected treat. It's funny, even though you love all your kids, "losing" some is harder than others... There's no explanation for it. If this kid is your special buddy you will miss him like the dickens and there's no cure for it.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 9:19PM
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Hey Sue, HS Graduation didn't "get" me, but college graduation did, for sure. When everyone (not just the grads) put arms around each other and swayed back and forth singing the alma mater -- total tear jerker. Especially for those of us who were alumni seeing our babies graduate.

It's funny how and when those emotions hit us.

Congrats to you and your son, seems like you did a great job with him.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 9:25PM
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Sue, you just have to feel the way you feel. We all process things differently. I went through the experience with both my daughters.

For me, I was just so excited for them. It's an amazing experience to be able to go away to school. I went to local college and grad school so I wanted both my daughters to have the away from home experience.

Not sure of your son's school, but there usually is an orientation weekend which you too attend, then it's getting him settled into the dorm, followed by parent's weekend.
As you probably know from your oldest, the college year is very short. Combine that with the winter and spring breaks, before you know it, it's summer and he'll be home.
(My DH felt that they were home more than in college.)

It's a bittersweet time for you, but at the same time from what you have shared, you did a great job raising your son and you should be very proud.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 9:29PM
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When my DH, DD and I left to drive back home after dropping DS off at university, all 3 of us were crying the whole 3 hour drive back When I got home, I went into his room, sat on the floor and cried. I found it very difficult to
let go. The next weekend we drove back up to see him. It was a tough time.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 5:51AM
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It's funny, the graduation didn't bother me, but leaving each of my children in a dorm room and walking down that hall without them left me in a puddle!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 6:09AM
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Their move-in and orientation is at the same time in late August. Then parents weekend isn't until Nov. 1, which seems soo long. I already told him I am coming out in late Sept. to see him.

ratherbesewing, I think graduation will be mild compared to how I'll feel when we actually leave him at school. I think my feelings of graduation are tied closely to the idea of him going off to school. It's not that I would ever want to prevent him from doing this, and we totally let HIM decide where he wanted to go, but man, it is hard now that it's getting so close.

Older DS has been a much more difficult kid, a lot of work, while this DS has been a total piece of cake and really just happened to get all of DH's and my best qualities, I think. Weird how that happens. Oldest is the one where we think "where did he come from? he's nothing like us!" Next DS, we think "oh yes, we totally ge him." And youngest is adopted and she is TOTALLY me. We could be an interesting study in nature/nurture.

Anyway, talk to me in 5 years when DD is graduating. I probably won't be able to speak. Or, I may be REALLY ready for the empty nest!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 7:02AM
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You may be ready for it by that time. We were surprised at how clean the house stayed, how quiet it was, how you could always count on finding the peanut butter jar where you left it. If they're gone too long you get used to it!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 7:47AM
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I don't have children, but we've had two international grad students who must now return to their home country the end of the May now that they've finished their degrees. At some point in finishing their theses, the other faculty and I were meeting with them often twice a day over the last month.

It is pretty unlikely I will see them physically again unless they get approval to come back to the U.S. to get a doctorate. We can keep in touch via email and social media, but not seeing them on a day-to-day basis will be tough. They really touched our lives, and they worked so incredibly hard to complete their theses in English, which they just learned 3 years ago. Yes, learned English only 3 years ago and had to develop & write a thesis!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 8:02AM
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I do remember the intense feeling of sadness the first time DS left for university at the other end of the country, I took 24 hours off , did not answer the phone, I just gave in to my sadness. I did not see it coming, so I can empathize with all of you going through this .

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 9:49AM
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I never felt sad about my children's high school and college graduations. They both went to a small to mid-size state college that is about an hour and fifteen minutes away; came home most weekends; we visited often, so it was good.

My heart was broken when they got married and moved out. I didn't even see it coming either - you get caught up in months of wedding plans, etc and just don't expect it to hit so hard.

DS got married a year after college graduation, actually moved into my neighborhood, but I cried my eyes out when we moved his bedroom furniture which they needed. I walked into that EMPTY bedroom with a bunch of his JUNK (old cassette tapes, books, boxes of pictures and papers) left on the floor in the middle of the dust bunnies and lost it. I closed the door so I didn't have to go in there for a few days, but the funny thing is, I could actually see his home from his bedroom window, and I would go peek out EVERY morning to see if they had left for work. It got better in a few days :).

It was even worse when DD left. They had bought a house 2 hours away; had the wedding local, had the reception at a rustic resort close to where we live; spent their wedding night on the grounds of the resort in a cabin; came to my house the next day to leave for their home on Sunday; flying out of Cincy Monday morning for Hawaii. When she bounced out of my house with her new husband, all excited about her new life and her honeymoon to Hawaii, I totally lost it when they were pulling out of the driveway. That was the only time I have seen DH cry over our kids.

Note to other parents - DON'T GIVE THEM THEIR BEDROOM FURNITURE - The house is too empty without it.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 9:52AM
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I'm pretty sure DS isn't going to want his old JC Penney twin bed when he gets married...

My DH cried at my DD's 4th grade "graduation," so he's going to be a problem, too.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 8:32PM
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I did get teary at each HS graduation....the speeches, etc just bring that out. Where I broke down was saying goodbye at the college dorm. With DS 1....he went to our state U less than an hour away...his first choice school. It was hard but I told him he was not allowed to come home for the first six weeks unless it was an emergency. I had heard stories of too many kids coming home every weekend and never immersing themselves in campus life and I wanted him to get involved, meet new people, and have the same experience as if he were miles away. He was rooming with best friend since toddlerhood and lots of other HS friends there as well so plenty of support. We all survived those six weeks just fine.

With DS 2..our youngest...I felt somewhat guilty shoving him out of the nest since he was our homebody and the most likely to get homesick. I think he would have been happy to stay home and go to junior college, but his major was unusual and not offered by many schools and you had to take prerequisite classes freshman and soph years so off he went...12hours away not knowing a soul and a roommate from our area who never returned his "get to know you" calls and turned out to be 24! Roommate was a deadbeat and I worried all first semester about whether he could cope with everything. (Fortunately he was able to switch roommates second semester). He blossomed! He spent a semester in Bangkok. He formed a campus organization for a cause he became passionate about and works in that field today for a major non-profit.

Hardest might have been DD....for 11years it was usually just the two of us going to practices and competitions for her sport. She went to school 6 hours away...I drove home alone as DH had to fly out from there for work. I sobbed all the way home. Was so distraught I missed an exit and didn't realize it for 20 minutes. I think I even pulled off to a rest stop just to cry. The upside was she loved the school, made great friends and it was a joy to see her come into her own after a not so great high school experience. She still lives there.

Fast forward....they are all grown and gone....and we love having the house to ourselves!!! The boys live close by so we see them regularly, one is married. Of course we love seeing all of them and having them over and although it was an adjustment, we love the empty nest too!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 9:51PM
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I'm teary-eyed thinking of my oldest granddaughter who graduates high school this week. I know I'm gonna bawl my eyes out...I'm so proud of her...and I will lose it again when she leaves for college in August...7.5 hours away! Boo-hoo! I do love that girl and will miss her with all my heart.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 12:24AM
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The HS graduation didn't do it for me, it was the going off to college! My oldest DD, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. When I realized she didn't miss me as much as I missed her, I got over it, but it was almost a complete semester.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 1:24AM
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On the other side of things, you should have seen me crying in the car on the way to pick up DS #1 when he dropped out of college... LOL. I can laugh about it (just a bit) now...

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 10:41AM
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Youngest is graduating from elementary school, so no more little kids in our house! I will now only have to drive to one school, which will be nice.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 3:34PM
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With oldest DS (now ready to graduate college), I was more teary about the hs graduation than leaving him thousands of miles away. It just seemed like an end to a great chapter as a mom. I made him a great movie, (imovie)with soundtrack, that I pulled out and watch occasionally. Still makes me tear up. I used a few songs, including Neil Young's My Boy, which I think was so perfect.

With DD, it's going to be the leaving at college, even though she'll be closer (only 5 hours away). Not only is she the last, but I'm so, so close to her, and will miss her to pieces. Since she is the last, her hs grad is pretty tear-inducing too, mostly because of all her friends and all of that coming to an end...

Right there with ya sistah!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 5:07PM
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I went to my final band concert last night. After 10 years of concerts it is just weird to think there will be no more. Daughter is Drum Major so we still have a season of parades, but the end is surely coming. It is easy to get so busy with all there is to do, ending high school getting off to college, I haven't had time to get weepy. I think next fall when I go back to work/school without one of my own there too, it will hit. The part that helps is I know she, like her siblings, is very ready. She will do so well being an adult. It is time for her to cut those strings and FLY!!

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 8:13AM
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Um, in a word, yase! Our oldest will be graduating tomorrow and truthfully this entire year has been hard for me. The high school he attends is quite an anomaly as far as high schools go. At least from all other schools that I am familiar with or around here. It is extremely steeped in tradition and is just not a school in the regular sense. It is almost as if it has its own doctrine regarding traditions, expectations, rituals, etc. and there are many families here who are generations deep within the fabric of this school. It is a public school where the elementary and jr. high are seperate (as feeders) but feels and works like a private institution where the younger kids are part of the tradition and included in every aspect.

Because of these traditions, it has made every event, step, activity, etc. that much harder knowing all of them will be the last. This particular son is an exceptional athlete and has had a crazy phenomenal year so that too is making it impossible. All of this while at the same time our constant arguing about math. He has a doucmented learning disability primarily math based though he still takes higher maths for college purposes. With the math issues and the other, it has been quite the emotional roller coaster this year. I never thought it would be this hard and had always said I would never hold my kids back and want (actually expect) them to leave home, be adventurious, take chances, etc., but this is turning out to be much harder than I thought. Each day I try to keep in mind the Dr. Suess quote "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened!"

This post was edited by louisianapurchase on Wed, May 14, 14 at 10:44

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 10:40AM
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