THE BLOG

Graduation Day: The Lie I Plan to Tell

06/13/2014 06:56 pm ET | Updated Aug 13, 2014
Jenifer Harrington via Getty Images

This morning, while I was getting breakfast together, my 5-year-old sauntered over and grabbed a handful of blueberries. "Just gettin' my bluebs," he said, looking up at me impishly. We shared a smile and off he went. I began to cry. It's two hours later and I haven't quite stopped.

Today he calls them 'bluebs'. When he was a toddler he called them 'boo-ay balls.' He'll never call them that again. For all I know, that was the last time I'll hear 'bluebs.' This thing only goes in one direction.

My first-born graduates from preschool today. At 11:45, I'm bringing in the bagels and baby carrots. I'll be smiling, hugging, saying, "I'm so proud of you! I'm so happy for you!" I'll bond with the parents over how fast it's gone, how big they are, what a mix of emotions this all is.

But in there is my lie. Right now they are not mixed emotions. There is only sadness. The deep, guttural sadness of grief. Don't get me wrong, this is lowercase G grief. My sons are both thriving, we have never had a health scare or anything even close to traumatic happen. There has been no obvious loss. Yet, the loss feels huge in this moment.

In this moment, I do not want time to move forward. I want it to stop right here. I would even like it to go backward. I could have those sweet infant moments again. I could make the sour moments sweeter. But it doesn't work that way. So, I'm crying.

I know that the happiness, pride and excitement are in there. But these mixed feelings are not simultaneous, they are sequential. This morning I will sit in the bath and cry, fully sinking into the sadness and mourning. With enough time on center stage, my grief will feel heard, seen, welcomed. Then it will retreat to the wings, so I can feel my joy, his joy, our joy.

To join Dr. Jessica's honest conversation about parenthood, follow her on Facebook