To My Son, the Graduate

My son, my one and only child, graduates this week. So, in the spirit of letting go, I tried to imagine what life will be like for him in ten years. This is what I came up with.  


June 1, 2025

Dear Son,

You always told me that you were going to live with us until you were thirty. We would laugh, and laugh, and joke about you living in the basement, but the funny thing is that you weren’t fucking kidding. Here it is, ten years after you graduated from high school, and well, you are pretty much hanging out in the basement all day. Sure, you go to school, but when you’re home, you are downstairs watching that holographic TV of yours, a gift from Santa. Just like when you were a kid, I’m still making you scrambled eggs and coffee in the morning. Well, I didn’t make you coffee when you were a little kid, and I do make pancakes on weekends. So, I suppose I don’t make eggs every day, but you get the point, right?

This is difficult for me, as I do adore doing your laundry, especially when you leave your underwear wadded up in your pants, but you need to get the fuck out. I mean that in a nurturing way, with all of the love in the world. Seriously. It’s time to grow up. I’m not sure why you are failing to launch since I have done everything I can to encourage you to be a mature and responsible adult, but it’s time to sail away from the nest and become a real grown up. So, grab a suitcase or five, and get packing. I can run to the store and get you some boxes, too.

As you are packing your stuff, don’t forget your Batman footy pajamas from last Christmas. Most people buy them as gag gifts, but I know that the Dark Knight makes you feel safe when it’s, well, dark. And they are glow in the dark, in case your night-light burns out. I know how you can’t sleep without some sort of light. Let me know if you need me to get you a bigger night-light.

Take the package of floss from Costco. I know you won’t buy floss if you have to pay for it yourself. After paying thousands for braces, I’m not going to let your teeth rot out of your head. Just let me know when you run out and I will buy you more. I can pick up toothbrushes and toothpaste, too. You can pay me back when you’re a rock star some day.

We, well I, would still like for you to sleep over on Christmas Eve and the night before Easter. As you know Santa and the Easter bunny won’t come if you’re not sleeping in your mommy’s house. It’s a law. You do want presents, right? Make sure you leave your basket and stocking here. It will be hard to find Joker from the Dark Knight Batman movie holiday stuff now. It’s been a decade or more since that movie came out. I loved seeing it with you, even though you ate all of the popcorn.

I don’t mean to make this more awkward than it needs to be, but I just want to let you know that I will continue purchasing your condoms from Costco. Where else can you get a box of fifty grandchild preventers for $22.99? Your current girlfriend is a peach, but we both know the type of trash you have dated in the past. The last thing you need to do is make one of them your baby mama. You don’t want me to have to kill a girl, do you? I’m kidding, of course, kind of. I mean I wouldn’t actually kill your trashy baby mama. I would just threaten her and take my grandchild from her. My grandchildren will not grow up in a trailer park, understand? So, Costco condoms it is.

Sorry about that. I got a little carried away. Anyway, we, well I, want you to keep going to school, so we will still pay your college tuition. That PhD in music production will get you far in life, and it’s worth it. Your dissertation on Quincy Jones will be made into a famous book. I’m certain of it. Just remember to bring me on the Today Show with you. I want to meet Matt Lauer while he’s still alive. He hasn’t looked so hot lately.

I know what you are wondering, and yes, you can have all of the furniture in your bedroom, and the stuff in your upstairs music studio, and the furniture in the basement, and the stuff in the downstairs band practice area. Take it all. It’s yours.

The only thing you can’t take is a pet. I know how you can sometimes forget to feed them. I won’t bring up poor Fifi again, but, well, I guess I just did. Anyway, leave the cats and dogs here. You can always visit them. This way you won’t have to step over their poop when you forget to scoop their litter or let them out to go potty.

Don’t worry about looking for a place. We will take care of everything. We don’t want you renting a nasty apartment with bugs and loud neighbors. So, we will just buy you a condo in a nice building full of retirees. You like old people. They can be like faux grandparents for you. You can pay us rent when you get on your feet. No rush.

There. Won’t it feel good to be independent? In just a few weeks, you will be a real grown up with your own place and your own furniture. I will buy you new sheets and towels and plates and pans and groceries and whatever else you need. Just let me know what else you need, OK? Now, give me hugs and kisses. Mommy loves her little pumpkin.



Here's my little graduate 13 years ago.
Here’s my little graduate 13 years ago.



9 thoughts on “To My Son, the Graduate

  1. Lisa,
    This could not be more real if it slapped us in the face! You always seem to put into words exactly what everyone is thinking! Too bad my stupid kid moved out, when she went to grad school just to allow us to pay the rent until the girl we told her she could not live, with drove her out, leaving us a $7000.00 check out early fee! She left all of her crap at home and it just made its way to the dumpster!! Your stories amaze me every moment of everyday!! Thanks for making me laugh!! Love you!!

  2. I’m not ready for this moment.. My son is 8 and I feel he’s growing too fast. He’s my only child too and will remain as such. It must be the strangest phenomenon to know that he’s grown into a legal adult, he is a legal adult recognized by this our United States government. Wowza! lmao You’re a good, patient mom buying your son “grandchild preventers” – they’re wonderful aren’t they. Lol 🙂 Congratulations to your son Lisa and hope he isn’t living in your basement in ten years! Take Care -Iva

    1. It really does go by so fast, Iva. I’m good with him being 18, though. I’m not a good little kid person. I like being able to curse and laugh at inappropriate jokes around my son. You know — the important things in life. 🙂

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