A Letter to the Graduates’ Mothers

Every year Kleenex makes a fortune from mothers at graduation. Senior Jessa Nayman has a word of encouragement to those who might need it now.

By Jessa Nayman

Dear Moms:

We have now completed our last Monday of high school ever. You will no longer hear us grumpily sigh and complain because we want the weekend to last a little longer. Faking illnesses or “accidentally” sleeping in will never again be a part our Monday routines.

You’re probably thinking back to the very first Monday of our K-12 careers. You dolled up your little girls in their finest dresses and tights, and you wove ribbons and bows into their pretty little pigtails. You dressed your baby boys in their most handsome polos and button ups, tied on their favorite light up tennis shoes, and you gelled their hair perfectly into place. You packed our powder puff and ninja turtle lunch boxes with PB&J’s (crusts cut off for the picky ones), granola bars, and Granny Smith apples. We walked together, hand in hand, to the Elementary School doors, and after a hug that lasted too long, you reluctantly watched as we walked through those doors without you. You may have shed a tear or two that day, but in that moment, you couldn’t have possibly imagined the heartache you would experience thirteen years later.

Thirteen years; sounds like a long time, but we both agree it flew by faster than we thought it would. You used to take us to the playground to push us on the swings and catch us when we came down the slides. You used to pick out our outfits for school and tuck us into bed at night (we lived for your bedtime stories). We used to argue with the other kids at school that our “mommy’s” were better than theirs and trust me, mine was always the best. There was a time when the only person we cared about was you.

Of course, things have changed a bit since those days but not as much as you think. Rather than spending time at the playground, you cheer us on at our games and sit in the front rows at our opening night. While our tastes in clothing aren’t really compatible anymore, we still count on you to make sure we don’t leave the house in an outfit you know we’ll regret. Though most nights you’re already asleep when we get home, we know (and love) that you wake up and check on us to make sure we made it home safely. We might not argue with our friends anymore about whose mom is better – because truthfully, their moms are pretty cool too – but we still think you are the greatest. And despite the fact that we’ve grown to care about a lot more people than just you, you are the person we have cared about the longest.

Once we walk across the stage this Sunday, our lives will change again; this time bigger than ever. You’ll start packing up our clothes and our personal items. You’ll buy a new bedspread for our dorm, a laptop to take notes on, and maybe even a television so we can procrastinate in college by watching Netflix. Then the day will come when we load up the last two decades of our lives and drive to college. You’ll cry while you unpack our boxes and you’ll hug us every free second. But when we’ve finally settled in, it will be time to say good bye. And this time, that last hug won’t last nearly long enough. This time, we’ll be the ones who reluctantly let you go and watch you drive away without us.

So before it’s too late or we forget, we want to take a moment to thank you. Thank you for being our teacher, our counselor, our protector, and our friend. Thank you for being our shoulder to cry on, our arms to fall into, and our hand to hold. Thank you for being our source of comfort and our source of laughter. Thank you for being the first person to ever love us. Without you, we would not be who we are today. And while we could sit here and thank you for everything you have ever given us or sacrificed for us, there is one thing we will never be able to thank you enough for: simply being our mother.

With all our love,

Your graduating seniors

Feature Photo: Ready for School by aliciac75 on Flickr.