completely and utterly not ready whatsoever at all.

Cheyenne is graduating in a month. It’s really happening. Fact: I can handle graduation. Other Fact: I cannot handle her moving to college, living away from home, starting a career, and possibly getting stabbed.

Because this is a crazy world we live in, folks.

On the upside: Cheyenne’s a smart girl who is also hilarious and kind and talented and beautiful. She’ll have no trouble at West Virginia University. (Or is it the University of West Virginia? I should probably know that.) Now, this is just heresy as far as I am aware, but when one gives birth to babies, those babies apparently do get bigger and smarter, and will eventually demand their independence, and will want to get away from their moms.

I know! I’m just as shocked as you are.

It’s a challenging thought, and I face the same problems every parent faces:

  1. I have yet to find protective metal throat shields on sale anywhere; as of now, I cannot prevent my daughter from being strangled.
  2. Plastic bubbles are too expensive.
  3. The first 24 hours after a disappearance are the most crucial. West Virginia is a 2 days’ drive from here.
  4. West Virginia is a 2 days’ drive from here.
  5. West Virginia is a 2 days’ drive from here.

Keep in mind, I’m not like a regular mom. I’m a cool mom. A young mom–a really, really young mom. Too young for this teenager business. I was just in college myself! At this point in my life, I’m mentally equipped for Sesame Street and board books, hot dog slices and cut-up grapes…and that’s about it. What happened to the sweet little girl who was over-the-moon happy just to sit on my lap and read the same Berenstain Bear book over and over until she fell asleep for her afternoon nap? I’m not ready for driving and dating or the ACT or the FAFSA.

And oh, wait: Cheyenne already covered all of that, and I just blocked it out like it never happened. Now we’re onto graduation and college. Here’s the case for not getting pregnant at 15: YOU CANNOT HANDLE HAVING AN 18-YEAR-OLD IN YOUR EARLY THIRTIES. You just can’t. Humans weren’t made for it.

My daughter’s friends’ parents? Seem to be taking it all in stride. Everyone has such awesome kids–all the graduating seniors I know are prepped and ready to kick butt and take down names in their new grown-up world. They’re young, energetic, smart, and ready. I’m proud of every single one of them.

But I don’t think that I, personally, was built for letting go. Like, at all.

Because how am I going to wave good-bye to this young woman who shares my genetic material, suffered through my “parenting”, and yet somehow got to be valedictorian and earned herself a scholarship to a far-away school to study all things scientific and complicated:


This one does not have a spirit of fear in her. She is bolder and braver and smarter and more confident than I could have ever hoped to be at that age (and also at the age I am now).

You guys pray that wherever she goes, she will know that she is always loved and welcomed back here in Oklahoma. Pray that she seeks God’s will for her life. And pray that I make it through August without locking her in the basement that I don’t even have.

About Toni

Mom. Wife. Artist. I take care of the kids and pretend to clean sometimes. I can cook spagetti and I have never been arrested. View all posts by Toni

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