A Bittersweet Moment

OK, I’m going to tell you right off that this is going to be an emotional post. Sorry, feel free to look away and visit another page if you need to (there are some great ideas at the Garden Party), but my son is graduating today and emotion is all I have today.

Let’s just get this out of the way first, “Aack- I can’t believe it!” Whew, now here are some of the thoughts and emotions going through my head and heart:

When I was newly married and teaching preschoolers, there were a couple of sweet little boys with blond hair and beautiful smiles that I fell in love with. It awakened the “baby desire” in me and I prayed that I would have a little boy like the ones that I had been teaching. Imagine my great joy when we were blessed with this adorable boy:

An Oregon Cottage's Adorable Preschool Son

Ah, be still my heart.

  • Blond? Check.
  • Wonderful smile? Check.
  • Great laugh? Check.
  • Fun to be around? Check.
  • Sweet as all get-out? Umm, Double Check.

But as you moms (and dads) know, there has been so much more than I could ever have guessed, as well. He’s kind and caring. He’s brilliant (seriously- he’s going to college on a full-ride scholarship, whoo-hoo!). He’s fun to talk to and has some great ideas. His activities and friends have taken us places we would have never gone.

Train to Mexico - An Oregon Cottage

He’s enriched our lives. But when I see this man he’s become (and Brian’s almost totally gray hair…), I can’t help but think, “Where has all the time gone?” It’s cliched I know, and I remember older parents telling me all the time when he was young to cherish every minute, and I believe I did. But it’s a question I still ask.

I can remember with crystal clarity the sweet laughing boy in the first picture. A few years ago I realized I never pictured myself as a mom of teenagers- it was always me holding little hands and teaching them letters and numbers. I’ve kinda been fumbling along in the teenage years, trying to figure it all out (sorry, I haven’t yet).

And so graduation seems the definition of bittersweet to me – I’m so proud of the person he’s become and all he’s accomplished, and yet…

And yet I ache sometimes for the little boy with the sweet smile.

This is something you can’t prepare for or even understand until you’re standing in the middle of it. And that’s probably for the best. Just enjoy each day as it comes.



This is linked to Finer Things Friday



  1. says

    We have been through this too. Our blond baby boy, 25, now has given us two great baby girls to watch grow, just as he did! My how that time does fly! It only gets better. Hang in there!

  2. says

    I am with you! My daughter graduates on Tuesday. We are so proud of her, and yet I still tear up looking at her cute little self in old pictures. Bittersweet indeed.

  3. says

    So sweet Jami. I’ll have you know you made me cry! My little ones are 2 and 4 and at my age I thought for sure I’d be raising teens by now…I’m glad for the time I have with them and hopefully I can raise them to be good adults. I’m off to change a diaper… :)

  4. says

    jami, what a great post. i’m at the other end, trying to enjoy the chaos of young kids, knowing it wont last forever, and preparing myself for where you are now. i can only imagine how it feels, but you describe it so well… congrats on your grad! and for all you’ve done to get you to this point, you have earned the right to share it with the world, no apologies! congrats to you, too!

  5. says

    I totally understand how you feel. We had two adorable sons, who are now in their 30s. So really, where DID the time go? One son got a full scholarship also which was fantastic. One son is married and the other is getting married in 2 weeks. We now have 3 precious grandchildren. There are bittersweet moments in every stage of life. Just take them all in and live life to it’s fullest. Life is a precious gift!

  6. Tracy says

    Wonderful post…made me appreciate my precious 8 year old blonde boy…Wow doesn’t time fly. Thank you for sharing.

  7. mle says

    You captured so beautifully the essence of what every parent/friend/aunt/uncle/grandparent etc experiences when they see a ‘little’ someone special hit a milestone whether it’s kindergarten, 8th grade, high school or college graduation – when we marvel at how time has simply evaporated before our eyes!! congrats to you all and continued blessings

  8. says

    OH make me CRY won’t ya?! I just had (almost 12 weeks ago) my third son. I’ve always wanted boys and God heard my prayers. They’re all 5 years apart. And, knowing that this little man is my last baby… the last one… really… really … really makes me emotional. I mean, really. So, while I don’t have one going off to college (yet)… I will… and seeing all 3 of mine in different stages and knowing that all I’m doing is trainging them to grow up and be their own independent person… it makes me all wish they would at least act like they needed me forever.

  9. says

    Sweet and wonderful post about a sad and wonderful occassion. It’s hard to see our baby boys as men, isn’t it? My son is 14, taller and stronger than me, with a changing voice, facial hair, and a yen for football. Even though I love the young man he is now, I long for the sweet toddler of yesteryear.

    Hugs, Mama.

    (my word verification is “bouse”. Which is when your blouse is as big as your house. And that’s not good).

  10. Sak says

    I was in your shoes last week, June 4th! I cried the whole time, but the tears were bittersweet. Wasn’t it just yesterday that we brought her home and sterilized everything in a 5 mile radius to keep her safe? Funny how specific events or moments emerge at the moment they step on that stage and take the life changing walk of a graduate.

    Thank you for this post, I’m crying again. Everyday she tells me she has a diploma, I’m counting to see how many days this will go on.

    I am grateful that she is the oldest, her two brothers are only 14 and 6 so I have many years of young children to enjoy.

    God Bless.

  11. says

    So true, Jami, it seems like we are wondering if we’ll survive the Terrible Two’s one day and then watching them graduate the next–life goes by so swiftly and those wonderful childhood days pass by in a blur. No one told me motherhood went so quickly. He’ll always be your little boy, no matter how big he grows. ((Hugs))

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