Why I hate graduation decorations

Okay, here’s the horrible thing about parenting.  You put in 18 years of work, love, and care into your children–nurturing them from the time they were nothing but a lump of cells, and then when your children graduate from high school–Bam!–they leave home. FOREVER.

I see no reason to celebrate this event. I cried for two weeks when my oldest daughter graduated. When my oldest son graduated, I sobbed all day–and I knew he was living at home while he went to college for the first year.

My point is, why do retailers think we need balloons and streamers to remind us of the impending end of childhood?

This is what retailers think I see when I walk into the grocery store:

This is what I actually see:

Yeah, and that in a nutshell (or a piece of cake) is why I hate graduation decorations.


  1. Anonymous
    May 20, 2012 at 1:10 am

    Our children do not belong to us. We have been trusted to raise them, to help them become great adults, but they were only landed.

  2. Carolyn Watson-Dubisch
    May 20, 2012 at 10:00 am

    I hope you didn’t buy cake number two. 🙁 Life is always moving on even if we don’t want to.

  3. tamir
    May 20, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    If you’re as “lucky” as my mom, one of your kids will get married and have kids and then move in with you. You’ll LOVE it! I think. I hope she does. I love it. Sometimes. I’m at least definitely grateful.

  4. CJ Hill
    May 20, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    I know it’s a good thing that they grow up and leave the nest. It’s supposed to happen. But at the same time it’s so hard to say goodbye. (And I know they do come back, but it’s not the same.)

    I also get choked up looking at baby pictures.

  5. Janette Rallison
    May 20, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Oops. Sometimes I forget to change my identity when I post. The last comment is really me.

  6. Liz
    May 20, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    When you feel that way start remembering the trouble they got into…for me it’d be the dozen eggs they tried to nail the cat with…or the hot wheels flushed down the toilet…or hiding brothers in the dryer during hide and go seek and turning it on….

    Suddenly the trip down memory lane becomes a shorter walk…. 😉

  7. Janette Rallison
    May 21, 2012 at 7:07 am

    Yeah, I’ve often thought that I should make videos of the kids when they’re fighting/complaining/ and in general ignoring me when i tell them to do their jobs. Then I could play those whenever I feel weepy.

  8. Tiana Smith
    May 21, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Oh dear. My son is only a year old, but I already feel like that time has gone by way too fast. He’ll be graduating in no time.

  9. Kristy
    May 21, 2012 at 8:23 am

    I’m with you! For me the crying starts at Sr. pictures, their Jr year, but ends when I see the messy room! Love your blog!K.

  10. Janette Rallison
    May 21, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Tiana, it happens scary fast.

    Kristy, I really need pictures to remind me. The thing is, I don’t even have a reason to be sad this year. No one is graduating–but the decorations are still a reminder that I’m one year closer to being an empty nester. And I don’t like that feeling at all.

  11. Deborah
    May 22, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    My son is in the middle of the terrible twos and I’m not sure how to survive day to day life. But thinking about him growing up, moving out, going on a mission…I don’t know how I’ll survive not having him around.

  12. Janette Rallison
    May 22, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    Ahh, and he is so cute too! Really, by the time they’re 18 years old you don’t remember what it was like not having them in your life. It’s like losing a limb.

  13. Lisa Anne
    May 25, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    thank you! I have been in the graduation blues for the past two weeks and my husband thinks I need mental help. I a so glad I am not in this alone. Thank you for making me smile amongst my tears. May your heart heal quickly….

  14. Chanella Cubbinz
    May 26, 2012 at 8:26 am

    Janette, I am a single mom of a beautiful nine year old little girl. To me she is the most beautiful that ever happened to the the planet Earth. She is mother nature, love and heaven all rolled into one. I live to see her smile. And the thought that she will one day graduate, and one day walk down the aisle…and will belong to someone else breaks my heart. the fact that i can’t hold on to her forever is something that i am slowly coming to terms with. I know it has to happen… but i wake up every morning and say, “please Lord… a little longer”

  15. Bibbit
    May 26, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    I am nineteen years old and moved 6 hours away to go to college! My first year in college made me realize how much I love and appreciate my parents. I never would have known how much they did for me without leaving! And, although I never showed that I was sad to leave, watching my parents drive away after they dropped me off was one of the most heart wrenching moments of my life. I think most kids would agree that the bittersweet of graduation is the same for us!

    check out my blog. http://www.newadvegtures.blogspot.com

  16. Joanne
    May 26, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    My Daughter is 14 and I am already so sad a bout her going off to college. I told her she has to go to one that I can drive to within a few hours! UGH. I wish I had a time machine…I want to go back to when she was first born.
    Blessings, Joanne

  17. Janette Rallison
    May 26, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Lisa, Chanella, Joanne, I’m with you.

    Bibbit, my children (thus far) have had a much easier time with graduating than I have. And going off to college is a good thing–it’s what I want them to do. But man, it’s hard.

  18. Brittany
    June 1, 2012 at 5:22 am

    Love it! Love the quircky spin you put on graduation but for me, my children are real young and I am already looking forward to graduation! Ok.. I know I’ll be a wreck, but a woman can dream can’t she?!

  19. Janette Rallison
    June 5, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    There were so many times when I was counting down the days, but it doesn’t matter how messy they are–I hate to see them leave.

  20. fingertipsandkeys
    June 10, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    My own parents were so excited about my graduation they wanted streamers, balloons, cakes, gifts,–the whole package. They were more excited than I was and can’t stop talking about it with their friends and anyone who would listen…I had the best graduation celebration because of them.

  21. Totally Mom
    June 16, 2012 at 9:49 am

    I’m sitting here all by myself catching up on your lovely blog because my youngest daughter is out of town visiting one of her older brothers and his family and my youngest son is off to scout camp. I cried the day my children started kindergarten, so during this, yet another senior year I cried far too often. In fact as a junior high librarian, every time one of my very wonderful ninth graders reminded me of what terrific plans they had as they moved on to high school I would tear up, too. It is so exciting attending the high school graduations and a great time to reflect on their successes, but those college graduations are monumental! Two days this week though I wasn’t lonely–I spent those days with my 9 month old grandson, so guess I’d better get busy writing my journal, reading my summer reads, and planning some nummy meals. Thanks, Janette!

  22. Daniel Kelley
    July 6, 2012 at 2:55 am

    It’s real that we usually modify for the individuals we really like, but is it right? Change can be a great factor but how much are we willing to compromise of ourselves for the ideal relationship?

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