Jun 2, 2010

Is the Nest Ever Empty?

by Lynn Parsons

Sunday my youngest child graduated from high school. Here she is with her diploma.

After three graduations as a parent, and six as a teacher, I thought I knew exactly what to expect. I had a slight twinge because I remembered how fun it was to sit with the graduates. They were so excited. They were dying to do pranks, and I suggested harmless ones, like having one pants leg in the cowboy boots, and one out. This is Texas, after all!

Last year a group of students sitting near me decided that during the last line of the alma mater (I will soar, I will soar, I will soar), they would sing "dinosaur, dinosaur, dinosaur." I thought I would fall over laughing.

So, I suggested this to a group of eager students before the ceremony. No one could tell they were doing this in a class of 410, but they felt like rebels.

So, the ceremony proceeded in the expected manner. Speeches, songs, more speeches, diplomas. I snapped photos like there was no tomorrow. I waited to listen for stray dinosaurs.

The class president stood at the podium and had the graduates turn their rings to the outside, then move their tassels from left to right. The tears rose in my eyes. My baby was leaving, as her brothers and sister had done. It felt like I was being laid off from a job I had for 28 years.

But real life intervened, and brought me back. My older daughter texted for advice, daughter-in-law called to tell me what great parents she thought my husband and I were, and younger son asked for words of wisdom about his girlfriend.

Turns out this job never stops. And that's a good thing.


  1. Your daughter is beautiful in her photo. Congratulations! And what fun to relive the days of graduation. Good think you have a sense of humor!

  2. She is very lovely. And I had to laugh Lynn. Once long ago I looked out a condo window to see 2 older gentlemen obviously retired, fishing. And I suddenly thought hey this god business could be hard, He can't take a vacation.

  3. Oh man, I just graduated my first. I loved your post, I cried and laughed all at the same time.

  4. Two more years and my last will graduate. Your post brought a lump to my throat as I recalled my own daughter's graduation two years ago. It's a good thing we have eternity, or I'd really lose it!

  5. Thanks for sharing this special moment. Your daughter is beautiful. This is my first year in 28 years of not having anyone in Primary. I've been avoiding thinking about what it's going to feel like when the last one leaves home. It is a great thing that this is a calling from which we are never released.

  6. My mother and sisters have told me that the hardest part of being a mother is after your children are grown. Seeing them still have challenges and only being able to give advice when asked. Or something like that. Congrats to both you and your daughter.


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