Graduation # 3…No More Crazy Mom

Graduation # 3…No More Crazy Mom

Lauren Chesley and Lilly at Graduation

I like the view from the 50 yard line.

I like the view from 53.

This weekend my daughter (number three) graduated from University of Wisconsin. So, you see, I have done college graduation before…twice…gratefully and proudly.

However, I am happy to admit I am far less “nuts” than I used to be.

Daughter Number One’s Graduation

I was the crazy mom on the lawn in Charlottesville at 6:30 am when the gates opened and the sun was rising. Somebody had to save seats. God forbid we wouldn’t get a good view. I, of course, was not dressed for the brisk pre-dawn. I was wearing a brand new (bought for the occasion) gorgeous double-breasted navy sleeveless dress with kitten heels. I froze my ass off saving those seats. My butt was soaked from the dew on the chairs. Nobody noticed.

 The Grads

Daughter Number Two’s Graduation

I was the crazy mom in the un-air-conditioned gymnasium at Vanderbilt—-sweating my guts out at 7 am to save seats, yet again. By the time my well rested family arrived with coffee in hand, I was soaking wet in a beige linen dress and nude suede sandals. I waved a cardboard fan in hopes my hair would not frizz in the 100% Nashville humidity. Nobody noticed.

Daughter Number Three’s Graduation

I am no longer the crazy mom. I wore jeans, flat boots, a winter coat along with borrowed hat and gloves. I drank Bloody Mary’s (maybe one too many), ate bagels with lox and cream cheese and had a blast with my daughter’s four roommates and their awesome families. The 26 of us boarded a bus to Camp Randall Stadium in Madison—arriving 15 minutes before the ceremony. We had crappy seats and I cheered for my graduate on the Jumbotron. I was warm and comfy and cuddled on those metal bleachers with those I love the most. This time, I noticed.

Lauren Chesley College Graduation with Family

I am not June Cleaver or Carol Brady (housekeeper Alice raised those Brady kids anyway.) I am just me… the mom who is not perfectly perfect. We do our best—most of the time. I am the mom who makes mistakes but knows how to say, “I am sorry” and leave it at that. Not the mom who says, “I am sorry BUT blah, blah, blah. Just apologize. Own it when you’re wrong…like when you comment on your daughter’s boyfriend’s Instagram—that is, I suppose, usually a “no-no.”  Say you’re sorry. (Sorry!)

Lauren Chesley Graduationon Bleacher Seats

I like being this mom. The one in the jeans watching my “perfect” view from the 50 yard line. We froze together—as a family. Yes, I am sorry we left before the ceremony was over, but no BUTS allowed. It was freezing and I couldn’t let my 80-year-old dad leave alone. Yes, we missed the end of the ceremony, but new beginnings are so much better.

View from the 50 yard line

I like this view from the 50 yard line.

I like this view from 53.

I actually really like the mom I have allowed myself to become.


Unapologetically You Post-50. Reinvention, Lifestyle, Relationships.

  • Annette Findling
    Posted at 19:29h, 17 May Reply

    Congratulations!!! See you Thursday night!

    From my IPhone Annette Findling


  • Susan Wechsler
    Posted at 19:32h, 17 May Reply

    good for you- I love you before and now! always the perfect mom!

  • Ann
    Posted at 19:22h, 26 May Reply

    It’s a relief to let go of the other version of Mom, or who we thought she was. I was right there with you (and several others) at CCDS reserving seats but now happily, I am also on the 50 yard line, several rows back!

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