Graduation — Out.

I almost hesitated to write this post for fear of over-saturation on the subject.

But then I remembered this was my blog, and remembered the very definition of the word blog, and was like, suck it! I’m over-saturating all over this shit. (BTW, I have no idea what that means and apologize for going all gangsta on you for a second. It’s 10:30 p.m. on Sunday after a looong week and I’m fried.)

Screenshot 2014-06-01 22.26.21

But since I know there’s like eight of you who’ve been following along this climb to the peak with me this year I wanted to give you the culmination — the closure. And maybe, just a teeny bit, because I’m a proud mama who wants to show off her girl (see: definition of blog).



So as much as I tried to postpone it, graduation happened.



And I made it through the day upright.


Look at me there. I’m totally holding it together, right?

What this photo does not show are three things:

Olivia Pope wine collage


No, not that. Shockingly that didn’t even happen. I know.

These three things:

1. The hair-color bleaching emergency I had on Wednesday and the resulting new much, much darker color I ended up with, as well as the ensuing panic it caused all day Thursday and Friday morning with me imagining the coppery-haired photo memories that would transcend eternity (because it’s all about me and the photos, obviously).

Me with the mysterious ombre hair that appeared after my normal color treatment. Who the fuck is messing with me this week?

Me with the mysterious ombre hair that appeared after my normal color treatment. Who the fuck is messing with me this week?


2. The IBS that struck on the way to graduation when we were stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Don’t worry, I’ll leave it at that. Just let the record show that I did make it to the arena and did have an hour to kill before the ceremony started so the story has a happy ending. And before you go “Ewww!” — you know you’ve been there, too, so shut up. I blame it all on the stress and trauma of the hair-color emergency…and maybe the sleeve of Pringles I ate before we left. And also, I just wanted those of you who only know me through this blog to know I’m a real human being. You are welcome.

3. The ugly cry that instantly overtook my face as soon as “Pomp and Circumstance” began and the graduates entered the arena but that I quickly swallowed down after having a split-second talk with myself about the dangers of letting that first sob go.

ugly cry

I’ve seen how that could end. We all have.

But I held it together, and despite sitting through the 800 names being read, the ceremony flew by. Well, unless you were 13-year-old Thing 2, who at one point — I think when they were on about the ‘Ps’ an hour into the diploma presentations — leaned over and said, “I think we’ll still be here when it’s time for me to graduate.”

And then justlikethat it was over and our graduate was in a flurry to find her friends and get on the bus that would take them to the all-night party, and with a quick hug and another couple of photos, she was gone…and I was fine.

No, really. I was.


Because this morning it kind of hit me.

Graduation is over.

The event you talk about, think about, plan for and look forward to (while simultaneously dreading) for about 10 years as a parent.


Check that momentous life event off the list, pack up your memories and move on.

In one of the bazillion photos we took before the ceremony, Husband and I are standing on each side of our girl, who is smiling proudly in her cap and gown, and while it’s a great picture and one I’ll treasure, it isn’t right. It feels strange and foreign when I look at it, almost making me a little bit queasy (and no, surprisingly it’s not because of my unfamiliar hair color).


It’s a cliched scene you see in a million picture frames on store shelves and in movies and on the walls of your parents’ homes, but it’s a scene I’m not supposed to be in yet.

At least, not without a cap and gown on myself.

How is it possible that I’m the mom in this picture?

How is it possible that time has passed so quickly?

She might as well be wearing a veil instead of a graduation cap (but thankyouGodthatsheisnot).

My baby graduated.

It’s official.

She’s done.

Of course, she’s not done done, she’s just beginning and all the other well-worn sentiments and messages she’s been getting lobbed at her over the past week or so (not that I’ve had a part in any of that…cough…cough…).

I know that. 

And don’t get me wrong: it’s all good. It is.

We spent an hour or so this morning pinning things to her “Dorm Room” Pinterest board and getting excited to go shopping (because shopping).

She freaked out over her gifts of new luggage (the first one she won’t ever have to share with her sister) and a red microwave.

She can’t wait to go to orientation in a couple of weeks to get the feel of her new campus and to load up on collegiate wear (because shopping).

She’s ready.

And as much as I can boo-hoo about it or not feel like it’s right, I know I have about 80 days to get there myself.

And I promise this is the last you’ll have to hear about it…until then.

Betcha can’t wait.




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  • Teri Biebel - I’m leaning on you over the next few months, as I have been over the last few, because I’m facing my oldest’s senior year. Last band camp, last marching band season, last basketball season, last prom, and the first graduation. Oh God hold me!!ReplyCancel

  • Kari Wagner Hoban - OMG I feel this so hard.
    And my oldest only graduated 8th grade this past weekend.
    HOLD. ME. ReplyCancel

  • Michelle Manning Cherne - I totally laughed and cried while reading this! I feel like I’ve watched that girl grow up and you are definitely too young to be the mom in those pictures. As my Thing 1 watched me crying while reading your blog, I told her I will have to practice taking Xanax between now and the time she graduates, so I know I can tolerate it. I cannot be the ugly crier at the ceremony… but I fear it will be me!! ReplyCancel

  • Bev Bell Draughon - The first and last are always the hardest to let go….I know I had 2 children also…… I was a complete mess…… but sending them off to college by themselves is the absolute worst… GOOD LUCK with that in a couple of months….ReplyCancel

  • Bev Bell Draughon - The first and last are always the hardest to let go….I know I had 2 children also…… I was a complete mess…… but sending them off to college by themselves is the absolute worst… GOOD LUCK with that in a couple of months….

  • NinaN - I’ll cut right to the important bit here: your hair colour looks awesome. Love it.ReplyCancel

    • Michelle - OMG I just saw this comment and YOU are my favorite today (and the day you wrote it in retrospect)!! Thank you!! It’s growing on me. 😛ReplyCancel

  • julie - ok. Because I was at my thing 1’s COLLEGE graduation and because I couldn’t stop the tears and because I managed to read thru this one with only a small amount of eye sweat I would like to tell you how I loved the shoes! Both you and Thing 1!ReplyCancel

    • Michelle - It’s all about the shoes, right?? 😉 Thanks! I’ve had those flats for years and they hurt my feet like hell and always give me a blister. So naturally I wore them to graduation. I mean, they went with the dress. Duh.ReplyCancel

      • Michelle - And also — CONGRATS to you and your college graduate!! Fantastic!!ReplyCancel

        • julie - Oh, thank you Michelle! She did an amazing job! Honors all over the place, graduated cum laude, phi kappa phi member her sophmore year. REALLY really proud of her! and I have to do college graduation again next year.

          I know how you feel, and I don’t know how you hold back the tears! It just doesn’t seem real does it?ReplyCancel

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