Blue To Green
graduation time again that time of life when we look at
our children and wonder when they went from chocolate bunnies
to prom dresses, and from Hot Wheels to Mustangs.
Somehow its easier for me to look back rather than forward.
At least I know whats back there.
My daughter graduates this year, my firstborn.
When she was three, I had the talk with her about "not talking
to people she didnt know. That very day, she disappeared,
and the whole neighborhood was out looking for her. I found her
hiding in the storage shed.
What in the world are you doing out here? I screamed.
You scared me to death!
I was hiding from all the people I didnt know,
Later that year, I signed her up for preschool. Ever the independent
and confident child, she surprised me when she wavered at the
end. I took her to the bathroom and her little chin trembled.
Will I be just fine? she asked.
Yes, youll be just fine, I said.
The next year, as I was pounding the rules of yes maam
and no maam into her hard Southern head, she made
an astute observation.
My husband was standing in a chair, painting the walls of his
new home office.
Do you want a ham sandwich for lunch? I asked.
Yes, he replied.
Poor old Daddy, my little one said. He doesnt
even say yes maam.
That was the same year my mother died. For reasons unknown, my
daughter called her grandmother Urdula. One sunshiny
day in early May, my mother carried her outside to look at the
flowers. Urdula, would you turn out that light? she
Everything happens in May. Later that month I got the call.
Somethings happened to Mother, my sister said.
Theyve life-flighted her to Vanderbilt.
My daughter packed her little yellow Care Bears suitcase. I
know Gods phone number, she said to me.
When my daughter was 13, she turned into a vegetarian and I had
to lure her back to reality with a fried chicken breast. When
she turned 16, I experienced true hatred for boys and begged her
to become a nun or a lesbian. Now shes 18 and Ive
tried every trick in the book. I hope she still has Gods
phone number, and I hope and pray that she will be just
Shes painting the walls of her bedroom for her brother to
move into. From blue to green, shell be gone. Just like
that. When they told me it was this hard, I didnt believe
them. When I thought I knew how to let go, I was wrong. So often
in life, we have no choice. If we did, would we ever let go? Probably
I pray that I can make it through Pomp and Circumstance
without anyone having to call an ambulance. Surely I can do this.
Ive always cried more at high school graduations than at
weddings or even funerals. There is more separation anxiety in
the air at a high school graduation than any other event in life.
The ambivalence of clinging mixed with the exhilaration of letting
go presents an emotional roller coaster. But like any thrill ride,
there is a sense of satisfaction and relief at the end. There
is even the desire to do it all over again.
Im ready for that relief and that satisfaction. Ive
been standing in this line for 18 years and the last two weeks
have seemed the longest. Its time to buckle up, turn 15
flips and get jerked around like a tree in a tornado.
Will I be just fine? I think so. If not, I still have Gods
Anonymous Mother lives in Middle Tennessee.
In July 2000, the editor of The Daily Herald in Columbia,
Tennessee, replaced a nationally syndicated humor columnist with
The Anonymous Mother's weekly column because he felt the writing
was funnier and reached a broader audience. Anonymity is
a big no-no in publishing, she says, but somehow this
works. The mystique has created a certain appeal that allows for
a freer voice through which others can vicariously live. I write
about the things people feel but are often unable to express,
and this provides much-needed relief for us all.
Anonymous Mother Website
The Anonymous Mother
The Anonymous Mother