The Last Sappy Graduation Post 


A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance.  Ecclesiastes 3:4


I remember the first time you were whisked away from me.

You were approximately thirty minutes old; ten wrinkled, tiny toes and a head full of fine baby hair.

I'd got to hold you in my arms for a few minutes, but before I knew it, your dad had scooped you up and exited the room along with the nurses.

I knew where they'd taken you. A crowd of merrymakers were waiting in the hall to see you in all your newness.

Your debut consisted of an onslaught of aggressive camera flashes and fawning family members.

Your dad held you up like a young king who would someday rule the world. I can imagine it was something like Rafiki did when he presented Simba to the pride. I'm only guessing.

I wouldn't know.

You see, I was still stuck in the delivery room, by myself. After minutes that seemed like hours of being left alone; you taken from me, I had decided to join the party. But there was a problem.

I put my weight on my hands and scooted to the edge of the bed. Something didn't feel right. My legs weren't working. Still I tried until the nurses came in reminding me that I was immobile due to the epidural I had gotten to help me through the thirty-second hour of labor (had to throw that in).

I was the one who carried you for eight months and three weeks. I was the one who labored to get you here. And now it seemed I was the ONLY one who wasn't bursting with excitement in the hallway. 

For a moment I felt left behind and quite unable to position myself in that happy place with those people in the hall.

I had the same feeling rush over me earlier this week in the parking lot of Hobby Lobby. I'd just experienced an unsuccessful attempt at buying party supplies for your graduation party and decorations for your senior table. I sat in the car bummed at the lack of shopping bags and bummed still, that you're graduating in the first place.

I thought about who I could text:

1. that would be by their phone to provide instant comfort because they understand where I'm coming from

2. and that I haven't already exhausted with "I'm so sad he's graduating" texts.

It pretty much excluded everybody, because here's the thing-

Everybody else is already in the "celebration hall". You're there with them. You're all more than fine with this thing. Your dad is doing his "Rafiki bit" thinking about what bright things lie ahead and I'm still trying (unsuccessfully) to join in.

THAT'S the thought I had earlier this week, but...

I'm making a choice to work myself out of my grief-stricken immmobility, because under the layers of "the last this, the last that" and the slew of tear-inducing pictures of Hay Hay (as we used to call you)......I'm happy.

I'm happy that we made it through Algebra II and the parent portion of driver's ed. I'm proud that I see a guy who's developed a great work ethic and a bright outlook for his future. Standing before me is a boy who solemnly swore "that it would never be uncool to hug his mom". You've kept that promise.

I'm going to turn my sadness into gratitude and get happy with the rest of those who are excited at the new chapter ahead. I'm getting ready for the parties.

I'm choosing gratitude.........even though I've already made this decision about twenty times this year.

I'll choose gladness when I find a tear in my eye when I hear you playing "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac, and when I think about the milk jug that will probably be lonely in our fridge next August without all its fellow milk jugs that are usually beside it to fill your insatiable thirst. I'll make my sentimentality a reminder to do so. Because this graduation thing is a good thing, even if it makes me sappy.

So congratulations! Let's do this thing.

I'll meet you in the hallway to celebrate. 

11 thoughts on “The Last Sappy Graduation Post 

    1. Kristi Burden

      Post author

      Hey Samie. This is tough stuff isn't it? I'll be praying you through while I'm praying myself through. We'll make it and we'll be proud.

  1. Pam Brinkley

    Praying for you Kristi on this life transition. I will say it does get easier. I won't say there still isn't that longing for that baby boy from time to time. Embrace the new adventures to come and newfound freedom that will come with it.

    1. Kristi Burden

      Post author

      Thank you Pam. Glad to hear it. I'm finding parenting is getting harder and harder without prayer. My growing kids surely remind me of my need for my Father!

  2. William

    the deGraffs are still reading....

    And I'll add my tears to yours and I'm not even there. I've already had several of those moments with his Chilton classmates who are getting ready to graduate (and I don't love them near as much as your family!!!). Loved the graduation card. Hope to see y'all soon (and tell your husband to quit texting me pictures of his crawfish gluttony).


    1. Kristi Burden

      Post author

      They're a memorable group I bet. It's not helping that Will and Hallie are going to HS. I didn't expect that to bother me, but it does a little.

      I'll pass the message along to your tormentor friend. It'd be nice if we could figure out a way to see yall this summer.

  3. Corrina

    I love, love this. I understand. I'm going through the same exact thing. I feel you sister. Here's My number you can text me "I'm sad, or whatever. 936-714-5064. I tell my husband I'm sad he just responds with. Look he did it. WE did it. Like if I'm supposed to take credit for his accomplishment. I just want a lil more time. Love you, forever your friend Corrina

    1. Kristi Burden

      Post author

      So proud for you Corrina. Saw how he's being recognized for his hard work and character. I'm glad. Jason is responding the SAME way. Just went too fast didn't it. I enjoy seeing pictures of all three of your handsome boys. Hate that Hayden's leaving, but I feel confident in sending him your way. We've got a lot of people who will look out for him there. And your's is going to Sam too, right?? I'm glad I have your number. 1. I very well may send you an emotional text.
      2. I may send Hayden your way for grooming. His hair grows out instead of down. It's quite impressive and I know you'll take good care of him.
      Praying for you too!!!

  4. Kirk Sherer

    Hey, Kristi. Thank you so much for your personal insights into what we were going through last year with Ryan. It actually hasn't gotten better since he's grown up so much and is getting more and more independent with each day in college. He did well this year at Lamar, but I miss those days where we called him "Ry Ry" like your "Hay Hay" for Hayden. He does still hug his mom and isn't ashamed to do so, even when he was still at the high school last year.

    I'm very proud of him, and Sharon and I did suck it up and did all the party things and celebrations that came with graduation, but it's still hard since I miss that sweet little boy that we brought home nearly 20 years ago. He's still sweet... But he's grown up a lot in 20 years and time truly flew by because we had so much fun.

    Thanks again for all your writings and thoughts. We all need to pray more for them as they get older, but we're so blessed that God allowed us to be their parents. 🙂 Ashlyn is only 2 years from us doing this all over again...ugh.

    1. Kristi Burden

      Post author

      I sure do love both of your kids; your whole family for that matter. Ryan has matured so much though I always felt he behaved maturely. Ashlyn a junior.....yuck.
      It's obvious how much you love each other and love being around each other. Glad I have wise people one step ahead to lean on and look to for counsel. I truly believe that this chapter and the ones coming will be times where I Leann to pray more often and more heart-felt prayers. I just keep getting more desperate for God. Guess that isn't so bad.

      1. Kirk Sherer

        I think that's our job for our kids - to pray for them - and in the meantime the changes drive us to depend more on God each and every day. It's probably all part of His plan for us, as much as it hurts to miss the little people they used to be. But seeing them grow up to depend on God's plan and will for their own lives makes the journey worth every second we spend with them. 🙂

        Thanks again for your wonderful insights. Please never stop writing. Love you!!


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