Tomorrow I get flower-pot number six, and the flower I’ve been dreading since my son was two.

Let me explain.

I have five hand-painted flower pots. All from preschool Mother’s Day celebrations. The flower pots have come with the same songs and the same sandwiches and lemonade, from the quaint little preschool that’s been part of our lives for so many years.

Tomorrow I get to be one of the Moms that marches to the front of the school at the Mother’s Day celebration and accepts a single flower. This honor is reserved for the Moms who’s last child will be graduating and moving on to Kindergarten.


I’ve been watching those Moms stand up and be applauded and walk to the front of the playground to accept this flower since my very first Mother’s Day.

The weepy Mom casually strolls to the director and in a bitter-sweet motion says thank you for the acknowledgement. She wipes tears and begrudgingly walks back to her picnic blanket with her child, petals of love in hand. It has torn my heart out to watch these Moms for six years now. I’ve known it would, eventually, be my turn but it all seemed so far off I pushed it out of my head over and over again.

Tomorrow, I get the flower.

Tomorrow I can no longer deny that one era is over and another is about to begin.

Tomorrow I’m going to wipe away tears and hold the single flower with a mixed bag of emotions.

Maybe it won’t be so bad. Maybe I will feel relief and joy. Maybe I will be too steadfast in showing my daughter my strength to dare let her see me break down over a silly flower.

Maybe later tomorrow night, after the kids have gone to bed, I will curl up against my husband and sob over that stupid flower and stupid time and how it stupidly seems to not STOP when I’d like it to. He will remind me of all the great things that happen as children grow older and the positives of the situation.

Then I will hop online and whine to my friends…other mothers… who get it. Who will feel my pain and understand exactly why I could hate a single flower so very much. And we’ll decide, together, what I can do with that flower of finality.

Part of me wants to preserve it…dry it out or press it in a book. Part of me wants to set it on fire. But most of me just wants to cry and hold it close, because maybe if I hug it hard enough and cry long enough it won’t hurt me as much as it does.

Ugh. I hate this flower. I’ve hated it since the very first time I saw it given to another, reluctant and weeping Mom.

And tomorrow…it’s my turn.


  1. Oh, what a wonderful post! I feel your pain absolutely. But with my children grown and gone, I can tell you that there is life after children, and it is good, full, and fun. There is freedom, individuality again, and people no longer will call you by your daughter’s name. So take heart, have a beautiful day, treasure the flower pot, and shed a tear. But let that glimmer of the happy future that awaits get you through! Some day, you will show those pots to your grandchildren. molly
    .-= molly campbell´s last blog ..TWITTER FOR THE TWITLESS =-.

  2. I know Molly, I know. It’s just so damn hard.

  3. I get my flower on Monday. And I FEEL YOUR PAIN. *sigh*
    .-= Meghan´s last blog ..Love and Laughter =-.

  4. Editdebs says:

    Boy, did that one make me cry. I love what each new age brings, but how I miss the stage that is ending. And even though my son is 15, I miss the 4 year old–and every year after.

  5. I vote we boycott these damn flowers.

  6. ohhh. you made me cry. 🙁

    I certainly agree with the above, though. Growing up doesn’t always mean letting go. It *is* just a new chapter, and you will be just as proud and needed as they grow older. Just because they want their wings to fly, doesn’t mean they won’t always want to fly back home to their mamma.


  7. Nugget is two. Not even in school yet. But yesterday, when he caught his second wind at 10:30pm and was jumping on our bed like a maniac to the alarm clock’s crappy radio reception, I got weepy. Because he was jumping and having fun and when he flopped his tiny two-year-old body onto the bed, it wasn’t so tiny. It was a little boy’s body. He’s tall and independent and starting to talk and discovered the word “No”, but he’s also willingly offering kisses by request.

    Milestones are such a bitch.

  8. Milestones are a bitch indeed.

  9. All weepy up here in snowy Calgary.

    Our kindergarten puts together a little movie at the end of the school year, revisiting everything the kids did, their funny little sayings, their artwork, their field trips, their questions. The kids sit up front and point at themselves and cheer and laugh. The parents, mostly moms, sit at the back in the little kindergarten chairs and watch both the kids on film and the kids on the mats.

    When the lights came up last year, three or four of us were sobbing uncontrollably. At that moment, if I could have cast a spell to lock the classroom doors forever and keep us all the way we were just then–I would have. I really would have.
    .-= Lorraine´s last blog ..Really good story =-.

  10. Oh my God, why do they have to put women through this torture???

    Seriously. Who thought of that? Some nasty old ex husband?

    Geez, As if you werent’ torturing yourself enough with those thoughts.

    Believe me, we know…we know! We don’t need the flower to tell us.
    .-= Alexandra´s last blog ..Flaming Skulls in the Sky =-.

  11. Isn’t it funny?
    I get a flower on Friday – for the first time. But not the same flower… It’s the one that they give moms who attend the mother’s day picnic & events at my daughter’s K-12 school. Only it starts in 1st grade and this is my first year. So I’m excited…
    Preschool was lovely. The graduations were adorable and sweet each year. But this past year? It has been the best so far.

    I think that’s the thing Erin – they are milestones, yes, but it just keeps getting better every year.

    Press or burn the dang flower… it doesn’t matter. You have the real flower; your beautiful daughter who is moving on to new adventures.
    .-= Lucretia Pruitt´s last blog ..Circling the Wagons Won’t Protect Your Brand =-.

  12. But, honey … there’s still your future Foster Child…
    I feel your flower pain and totally understand. For me, it was graduation. There was so much going on and bio-mother hate (towards me) that I didn’t really feel the Kindergarten flower pain, I was too busy dodging psycho bullets and wearing my super woman “this doesn’t hurt” vest, while trying to come up with the next creative activity so the kids could think about something other than how hateful their real mom was being.

    Yeah, that flower should get you a puppy. Maybe two!

    *more hugs*

  13. I’ve never commented on here before. Only lurked.
    But this one pulled at my heart.
    The years just go way to fast!
    .-= michelle from six in the city´s last blog ..thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s fabulous outdoor space =-.

  14. Ugh — don’t remind me. I cried and cried.
    .-= feefifoto´s last blog ..Letters of Advice =-.

  15. Fast forward in an instant, and the elementary school sends you away at the end, too. Curse you, time!
    .-= patois´s last blog ..Rumours =-.

  16. I didn’t realize that Hala and Dawson are only a few months apart! Dawson starts kindergarten this fall, and while I still have baby Owen home with me, there’s something about my oldest child, my firstborn, going to “real” school that makes me cry. I’m not ready for the big kid stuff just yet. I keep telling him to stay little. He doesn’t seem to listen. He is becoming his own self, separate from me, and I love and dread it all at the same time. Can we cry together?
    .-= Dana´s last blog ..Six Months =-.

  17. Stephanie says:

    Quit making me cry! It’s my last year of preschool too. Although my 5yo is excited to be going to big kid school with her older sister, it finally hit her the other day and she cried all the way home about how much she’s going to miss her friends. I just can’t stand it.

  18. I need a flower. My youngest’s time in elementary school ends in 6 weeks. The school that I’ve been a part of, that I love, that feels like a hug every time I walk through the doors into that hallway, will no longer be a part of our lives. I’d love that flower. At least I could officially cry with the other moms who are feeling the same thing. Rather than running into each other at all the end of year events, giving that knowing nod but trying not to make eye contact because in each other’s eyes, we know. It’s over.

    Hmmm … I just wrote my next blog post in this comment.


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